Yakima cracking down on enforcing one temporary sign per business

Yakima cracking down on enforcing one temporary sign per business »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. --The city is cracking down on enforcing its ordinance on temporary signs. Almost 1,600 signs have been taken down this year.

As a business owner, Michelle Wyles understands how critical it is to get your name out there. She says her signs play a key role.

"It's very, very important. I have a huge building and we have to designate what we're doing here," said Michelle.

But in the City of Yakima, businesses are only allowed to have one temporary sign. These include sings in windows, flags, and sandwich boards.

It's been in effect since the 80s but the city says it really hasn't been enforced until now.

"The policy of the city which up until recently has been one of reacting to phone calls or complaints rather than seeking out problems and resolving them," said Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke.

In just the last two weeks over 1000 signs have been removed. That's thanks to the two extra code enforcement agents. They've been focusing on the main business corridors.

The city says it's goal is not to give out the $50 to $500 dollar fine to violators, it just want businesses to be informed and comply.

The city says it wants to work with businesses in an attempt to clean up the city. This is a response to the recent citizens' survey.

"An aesthetic assault in clutter and that's where we're kind of at right in a lot of our establishments it's an arms race in advertising in clutter," said Tony O'Rourke.

But Michelle Wyles doesn't think her signs fit that bill.

"I on the other hand have very tasteful signs, so I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to look at them," said Michelle.

The city says there are some issues they need to work out in the ordinance. Yakima is also considering basing the number of temporary signs on the size of the business. The city will review the ordinance in July.