Look around Arden Arcade and you will see lots of signs. There are so many commercial signs that they often just blend into a cacaphony known as "sign pollution". If our community is ever going to get better, dealing with our overflowing signage would be part of the answer. This is clearly a widespread problem, one hard to deal with all at once. But some progress might be made by chipping away at it bit by bit.
So let's think about the "temporary" (AKA "semi-permanent") signs about vacant commercial property - "Space Available", "Your Name Here", etc. There has been something of an explosion of these signs lately, probably related to the pandemic and its impact on the economy. The abundance of these signs also says something about the shift from brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping. The County has had a longstanding preference for commercial land use across our community, with little apparent understanding that the market for retail and office property isn't the same as it was 50 years ago. That the trends in the marketplace have become obvious to most everyone except the County means the temporary commercial property signs hereabouts will be with us for quite a while.
What most people don't realize, though, is that all those signs are regulated by the County. There are rules that stipulate things like how big the signs can be, how they should be maintained, where they can be placed and so on. To be fair, most of the temporary commercial signs are OK; well-mannered, if you will. Still, there are bad apples in the bunch that flout the rules, and that's not fair to the ones that comply. Even a quick glance at some of the signs will tell you that the rules are not enforced very well. You can easily find graffiti, or faded paint, or poorly-maintained signs like the ones in the photos below. Those are telltale signals of blight that could be fixed if the County actually cared about the community. We think there is a way to change that. You see, according to the County, the rules aren't enforced unless someone - one of us citizens - reports the violations.
Therefore, we are requesting volunteers to help bring some attention to this situation by reporting issues to the County's 311 Connect system. 311 Connect is the app that the County has for people to report apparent violations using their cell phone. We can help the County if several of us, whenever we see non-conforming commercial signs, would use the 311 Connect app to report the apparent violation. After a violation is reported, the County will email the reporting person a case number. To make sure the County actually responds to the complaints, it would be helpful if community volunteers could forward a copy of the case number to us. Our elves will tabulate the data for follow-ups.
This is an easy way you can help make our community a better place. If you are interested in participating, please let us know with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once enough volunteers from all around the community sign up, we'll provide a training package of what to look for and how to report it. That's not hard, is it? OK, then, we'll be watching for your emails. :-)