Pizza Shack Wins Sign Waiver

“The Pizza Shack moved its Belhaven-area restaurant this fall to an empty building on Fortification Street reported the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger. The building used to house a dry cleaning company, and there’s still a sign out front advertising for the cleaners. That’s because until now, Pizza Shack couldn’t put its own name on its own sign in front of its own building, thanks to a city law.”

“Without any context, it sounds like a case of a bumbling government writing regulations that are best read with the Benny Hill theme song on loop. But there’s actually a good reason for it. The city tightened the sign rules in that area to require monument signs no larger than 15 square feet; these sorts of design regulations are common when a city or area wants to encourage a particular look. The existing sign is 32 square feet and sits on a pole, but because it was there before the law was written, it was grandfathered in. However, the grandfathering only applied to the prior owner — now that a new occupant is there, the law says Pizza Shack should get a new sign to conform with the design rules. This makes sense, of course: if the law didn’t draw a line at some point, the area’s signage would never transition to the new design.”

“Pizza Shack preferred to use the sign that’s already there, so the restaurant petitioned the City Council for a waiver. It passed 6-0 on Tuesday, a show of support for a business that was forced to relocate to make room for the Baptist Medical Center’s expansion.”