3/31/2005

A few more random thoughts on the Sign Code and then...

...I'll shut up.

Under the new sign code, window signs cannot be bigger than 1/3 of the size of the window, according to Cheryl Patton, "in order to let light inside." What if I don't want light inside? What the hell concern is it of City Government how light my business is or what portion of the light comes from outside? If you read my post below about private property, you cannot possibly doubt my assertion that City Government simply does not care about or respect the private property rights of its citizens.

At one point, Randy Gray stated that he's "no visual expert," but that we ought to look at proportionality. What the heck is a "visual expert?" An eye doctor?

It struck me that there were 27 people at this meeting. There were 14 people 'at the table' in a policy-making role. Assuming 55,000 people in Great Falls, that means that we intend to allow less than 3/10ths of 1% of our population infringe on property rights granted to us by our Founding Fathers. Why? Because they apparently think they know what looks better.

The City is creating "billboard-free areas" at all of the entrances to our community, apparently on the assumption that billboards make the approaches less attractive. This from the people who placed the jail 25' off of the interstate on the way into town. And they are going to tell us how to make the entryways more attractive? What gall.

Finally, one last thought. Does anyone reading this have even the slightest doubt what the City Government would do if Red Lobster were to come to town and open a store, but only if allowed a 50' pole sign?

7 comments:

SBB said...

I don't think anyone down there at
City Hall has a clue about making the Great Falls economy grow.

GeeGuy said...

With all due respect, if we're counting on City Hall to make the economy grow, we're out of our minds. Government doesn't grow the economy despite their feelings of arrogant omnipotence. Government hinders the economy. A good politician just gets in the way less.

SallyT said...

"...you cannot possibly doubt my assertion that City Government simply does not care about or respect the private property rights of its citizens"

I'd venture that City government simply doesn't recognize property rights as valid. Everything from smoking bans (in the name of "public health") to the sign code to the landscaping requirements for businesses are back-door takings of property.

The way I see it, they have set precedent that the property is controlled by the government & you use it at their discretion. That is, of course, why the cities went so ballistic over the bill that would require compensation for billboard bans. Since they believe the property belongs to the government, they refuse to recognize due process (compensation) for the business owner.

SallyT said...

"I don't think anyone down there at City Hall has a clue about making the Great Falls economy grow. "

Because, as Mr G points out, economic growth requires the City to get out of the way. My observation is that City staff & committees are completely convinced their ideas are brilliant & necessary for our survival--and fully insulated from the consequences of their actions. The answer to every misstep (or even outright failure) due to government meddling is...more government meddling!

Jack said...

Although the Dems don't feel this way, Great Falls, Butte, and Havre are some of the last "Outposts" on the frontier for them in Montana. The Dem leaders in Cascade county should be proud that over the years they have taken GF from one of the largest cities in Montana to third and it will be fourth next census. It's their attitude and anti-business feelings.

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