Proposed law outlaws vacant signs and sign frames

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Vacant, old signs are at the heart of a proposed city ordinance in St. Augustine.

City leaders are considering a new law that would require former business signs to come down when the businesses close for good.

Mark Knight is the Director of the St. Augustine Planning and Building Department. He said the ordinance would also require the sign structure – or the framing for signs – to be removed.

One example of that kind of structure is the former Hardee's sign on the corner of U.S. 1 and King Street.

Knight said the city has received several complaints about the old Hardee's sign which is across from a main entry way into downtown.

He said there are many other similar "vacant on-site" signs and structures around St. Augustine, especially on Anastasia Blvd, just east of the Bridge of Lions.

The city would hold the property owner responsible.

Karice St. Laurent lives in St. Augustine and supports the proposed ordinance. "I think it's a good idea. It makes it loos messy. This is a main drag here. So I think it would be a nice thing to do. The tourists comes by here all the time. Doesn't look good."

However, some others have said the city has bigger issues to deal with.

It's a seemingly progressive move for the city. Knight said, when researching this kind of law, he found very few other cities across the country have a law requiring the removal of "vacant on-site "signs.


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