Council To Consider How It Handles Signage Requests

OSWEGO, NY – The way the city allows signage for businesses and other may be changing early next year.

At its meeting this week, the Physical Services Committee gave a favorable recommendation to three sign requests. But, not without some debate.

Bernadette Crisafulli, owner of A Touch of Grace, 171 W. First St., wants approval of one two-foot by three-foot A-frame sign in public space, placed against existing building fronting West First Street.

Nathan Emmons, owner of Mother Earth Baby, 70 W. Bridge St., wants to place a 25-inch by 45-inch A-frame sign in public space, between the curb and sidewalk fronting West Bridge Street.

James Pauldine, owner of JP Wholesale Jewelers, 136 W. Bridge St., wants approval of one two-foot by three-and-one-half-foot A-frame sign in public space, between the intersecting sidewalks and the northwest property line of 136 W. Bridge St.

The committee sent the requests to the full council for consideration next week.

Signs of all shapes and sizes are popping up all over the city, more in some locations than others, according to Council President Ron Kaplewicz.

“I think we just should have some limits on where they are, when they get placed, how long they are there. Take a look at during the garage sale season at what some of our telephone poles look like,” he said. “If you put one up, take it down. We want our community to look nice.”

City resident Miles Becker asked why the council had to regulate business signs in the first place. They really aren’t getting in anyone’s way, he said.

“If we just let them go rampant and not have any control over them I think it would get chaotic,” Councilor Mike Myers, committee chair, said. “There will be everybody and their brother putting one up for everything.”

Councilor Mike Todd noted that some of the business owners he’s talked with would rather do signs mounted on their building instead putting A-frame signs out and bringing them in all the time.

Currently, however, such signage has been prohibited by the city, he added.

“This would alleviate some of this problem, if it were done in an historical way, no neon signs or anything like that,” he said. “If they could hang a nice sign out over the sidewalk, a lot of these businesses said that would do the same thing for them and they wouldn’t need the A-frame.”

“We might even want to consider a use of public space granted in a business district; designate that part of the district where these signs could be placed … May 1 to October 1, we’d have something like that out,” Kaplewicz suggested. “We want all businesses to be competitive.”

Myers said the city should put a group together to examine what options might be feasible for businesses. The council will consider the matter early next year.