In November and December 2014 the City of Stayton notified 67 businesses and building owners that they were in violation of the sign code. Previous to this, without an ordinance officer, the sign code violations had not been addressed for several years. Many businesses had no idea that they were in violation of the sign code and sought a way to make changes to the code. The Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce (SSCOC), at the urging of the business community, organized a meeting, on Feb. 5th in which 25 business owners and managers attended to discuss the code with the Stayton City Planner and steps needed to amend it.
For the past 6 months, Kelly Schreiber, Executive Director, SSCOC met regularly with a small group of committee members including, Cari Sessums (Covered Bridge Café), Sue Harteloo (Postal Connections), Russ Strohmeyer (Stro’s Photography), Dave and Tracie Curran (Cuppa Joe) and James Taylor (JET Auto). Kelly reached out to International Sign Association to discuss what signage standards are nation-wide.
The local business group sat down with the goal in mind to keep the town attractive, while also allowing businesses the flexibility to advertise. They came back to the city council with a list of recommendations. The Stayton City Council and Planning Commission have worked hard to update the code in a way that creates a cohesive system and allows businesses the flexibility they need to be competitive in the marketplace.
Some of the issues addressed in the code were related to what was considered a temporary sign, the difference between a temporary sign and a sandwich board, and standards for electronic message signs.
“I would like to personally applaud Kelly for hanging in there with this monumental task for the business owners of Stayton. Whether they know it, or not, whether they are Chamber members or not, all have benefited from the hard work that you and Chamber staff put into standing up for us,” said Sue Harteloo (Postal Connections). “I would like the acknowledge the handful of businesses who continued to represent the larger community to the very end. We have all stood up for the greater good of our business community.”
On August 17, Stayton City Council updated the sign code to include updated language that addressed issues that the committee presented. The flexibility of the city council and the doggedness of the committee should be applauded. Both worked hard to come to a final conclusion that benefited both the city as a whole and the local business community.
“The on-premise commercial sign is crucial to communicating to consumers. It’s important to the businesses because if they don’t have adequate signage, they can’t compete successfully,” said Kelly Schreiber. “I believe that by working with the city council and planning commission, an amicable balance was reached with reasonable advertising that will contribute positively to the community character and economy.”