[H. Rick Bamman]
The problem was expected to be discussed at the most recent Village Board meeting, but the item was removed from the agenda at the beginning of the meeting because board members said there was not enough time to discuss the matter as a group, and they didn't think residents had been invited to voice their opinions.
As it stands, the 43-page ordinance prohibits signs, including inflatable signs, pennants, flashing signs, obscene signs, off-premise signs, any electronic message center sign, vehicle signs, moving signs, portable signs, traffic signs and billboards, among others.
Businesses are allowed to display temporary signs if there's a special event or promotion, according to the ordinance. Temporary signs can be displayed two times a year for no more than 30 days each time. To get a variance, business owners have to pay a fee, apply and then go before the board during a meeting for its approval.
Shields, whose business is off Route 31, said he has come across problems with the sign ordinances since Jax Auto & Tire opened in April 2016. Before his business opened, Shields said he had a "Coming soon" banner made, and shortly after he placed it on his building, he received a call from the village asking him to take it down because he did not have a permit.
Since then, he has had to request short-term variances to place four banners on the two buildings on his property. Without the banners in place, Shields said he would lose a significant amount of business.
"Temporary signage is all about impulse buying. … People call about the banners all the time," he said.
If things don't change soon, Shields said he has considered leaving Prairie Grove.