New Ordinance Upsets Old Sac Merchants

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 18, 2005

The Old Sacramento Business Association wants all merchants to get rid of any modern looking signs and replace them with authentic Old West style displays.

"This is the first neighborhood in Sacramento and it ought to look historic," says association spokesman Steve Huffman. "A lot of the signs we have here now aren’t and we want to do something about that."

Huffman describes what’s out. "Oh, neon, anything with sparkling metal, anything with vinyl lettering. What we’re looking for is wood. In the 19th Century wood was used and gloss paint."

The new restrictions are part of an ordinance passed by the city council.

Maxine Norby who owns a Native American art store says it gives too much power to the business association. "They are going to tell you what they want you to have. They don’t know what I sell, they don’t know what my best product is."

Kyle Pulliam who co-owns a hemp clothing store also opposes the new ordinance. "I would in no way put anything offensive in my window. It seems like it’s infringing on our First Amendment rights."

Enforcement of the new ordinance begins on August 1st. Violators face a fine of $750 for the first offense.