Corner Store Signs- Are They Blight?

<p>Dallas's city council passed an ordinance restricting the percentage of window space a storefront can use for advertisements. Council members say the signs are creating or adding to blight.</p>
July 7, 2008, 12pm PDT | Larry Schooler
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"The corner convenience store might not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to cleaning up neighborhood blight.

But in poorer parts of Dallas, such shops are frequently plastered front to back with mini-billboards advertising everything from cigarettes to Frito pie.

'These signs just trash up the community. When you pass a neighborhood retail shop on the north side, it's not as big a problem as it is here,' said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway as he passed sign-covered store after sign-covered store in his southern sector district.

It drew little notice, but last week, the City Council enacted restrictions that target those signs, hoping to clean up the way convenience stores and other mom-and-pop shops look in neighborhoods around the city.

The ordinance limits how much of a building's facade and windows can be covered with signs.

Specifically, windows and glass doors, many of which are completely covered today, must be 80 percent clear so patrons can see in and out of the store. And outside walls and facades that have served as little more than street-level billboards must have no more than 25 percent of their surface covered with signs."

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Published on Monday, July 7, 2008 in Dallas Morning News
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