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Daphne Sign Ordinance A Hit With Businesses - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Daphne Sign Ordinance A Hit With Businesses

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It's hard to catch a driver's attention on a road like this. Especially when you're a restaurant located in a strip shopping center like Samurai J.

"Yeah we have people flying by and there's no stopping so any visibility is nice that we can get them to notice the restaurant," says owner Michelle Vasquez.

After 11 years, folks who have lived here all their lives say they've never seen it before. But hopefully that will change after recent changes to the city of Daphne's sign ordinance. For these businesses, the major bonus is the allowance of digital signs.

"And for a lot of small businesses that can't afford to advertise on television, really all they have is what they can present the public here on the street," says business owner Kevin Spriggs.

It's estimated that over 80,000 cars travel this stretch of Highway 98 every day so any little bit of advertising that the businesses on this road can get is a plus.

"Baldwin County is like the number one tourism county in the state," adds Spriggs.

Under new rules, businesses can upgrade existing signs with digital ones. However, they won't allow scrolling, blinking or animation of any kind. Safety is the biggest concern. Mobile already allows digital signs, as does Gulf Shores. The main difference is how quickly they can change the message. Gulf Shores signs can change once every 45 seconds, Daphne every 30 seconds and Mobile once every eight seconds for off-premise digital signs.

There are restrictions as to how big the sign can be, the landscaping around it and how big the letters can be, but store owners say little change is better than no change at all.

"I'm going to try to talk our landlord into working on a sign or seeing what options are available," says Vasquez.

Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood says this is the result of a year's worth of planning from a city-appointed committee, the Planning Commission and two public hearings. They wanted to hear both sides of the argument and felt this was a reasonable compromise.

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