Sunday, March 1, 2009

As you know we operate on smiles in our wonderful shop, not negatives. However, at this time I am asking a favor from any of you willing to fight for our downtown merchants. Recently our Noblesville Planning Committee passed some new ordinances regarding business signage and sidewalk sandwich boards. Our own shop has been cited two different times, each with a deadline for my changes, and a threat of appearing in our courts. My first charge was that I needed to remove the wheelbarrow from the side of my building. This antique piece has attracted much attention throughout the past 7 years and we gave cuttings of many of its flowers to our many customers. My second issue occurred this week and they now want me to remove my pink washtub which is normally filled with seasonal flowers and also my vertical antique sign which says "ANTIQUES" which is screwed to the wall of my shop (outside). Photo below. Mr. Huntley told me that since I have the audacity of having signage on the front of my shop, then I am not allowed to have a sign which says antiques. The rule previously was that you could put anything on your windows such as banners, etc., but if you placed them on the outside of the building you would be fined and needed to file for a sign permit. The sign actually is all of 5/8" deep, sits flat upon my wall. The laundry basin which holds flowers is not as deep as the benches the city itself placed and their city flower planters.

I am finally mad enough to call the Mayor, John Ditslear, twice in one day, the Director of Planning for Noblesville, Steven Huntley, and the local newspaper reporter who just happened to walk in while I was doing these things to interview me for my opinion of these poor new ordinances. (God does have a funny way of putting people in the right place at the right time, doesn't He?) As you can see from the photo, I don't feel that anything we have done on the outside of the building could be considered an eyesore. Many of our fellow merchants are being forced to remove table and chairs from restaurant fronts, antique bicycles with flowers in its basket had to be removed, sandwich boards from restaurants are cited. Restaurants need these boards for their everyday specials. A local kid's bookstore is not allowed to let bicycling children who visit her store to leave their bicycles in the front of her store.

While I usually mind my own business and just try to make my shop the best it can be, I have finally got enough furor to react. I sat right down and wrote a letter to the local editor of our paper. I am in the process of writing another one. I am going to be interviewed by the reporter this coming week. I am writing and calling my City Councilmen. In these hard times for retail, people and life itself, I feel this is petty stuff and should be changed immediately. The downtown merchants are signing petitions and sticking together in this matter.

If you so choose, could you pick up the phone, call or write the people listed below, the business downtown would be appreciative. The new sign ordinances and sidewalk laws are an outrage and that's really all you have to say. There is no need to leave your name, just your displeasure in the new ordinances. I am so afraid that the powers that be are removing our uniqueness of our downtown in an already difficult world. Thank you so much if you wish to express and opinion.


A proud shop owner!!
Brian Ayer, Councilman & also my landlord
Mayor John Ditslear
16 S. 10th St
Noblesville, IN 46060
Steven Huntley
Dept. of Planning
16 S. 10th St.
Noblesville, IN 46060


thepaperroSe said...

Unbelievable! One of the things that make your town so unique! I live about 45 minutes north, and when my daughter visits from Ft Wayne it is our favorite place to visit. Your store is one of the big draws to Novlesville for us. We love to visit. How sad, like I said, it is such a quaint town and the shops/shopowners are what make it that. People who come there are not looking for a mall atmosphere. Good luck in your fight! I would truely hate to see that all come to pass.

dianie said...

I can't believe that they want to change the square!! That is what make Noblesville unique!!!!! Hang tuff Peggy!!