Flashing Sign Controversy in Crisfield - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Flashing Sign Controversy in Crisfield

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CRISFIELD, Md. - A small business owner is Crisfield is fighting a town ordinance that says flashing lights on a sign are illegal.  John Dize, the owner of Crisfield Computers, says he was told by the City Inspector that the flashing "OPEN" sign in his store front window was property maintenance violation that could carry a stiff penalty.

Dize says he needs the sign flashing to attract business to the store.

"Flashing open sign can bring more people in our store, I believe, because then they can see that we're here.  We can't afford, after Hurricane Sandy, to put the big fancy signs up on the building that say Crisfield Computers, so we have to find any means necessary to get them to notice that we are here in the shopping center," said Dize.

And he is not alone.  The owners of the Blue Crab Cafe and Bar said the city inspector said the flashing palm trees on their "open" sign needed to be turned off as well.

"People only know that I am currently open because of that sign and I have to turn that off, it is really defeating the purpose of a sign ordinance," said Carolyn Marquis, the cafe owner.

Dize has started a petition and says that he has about 50 signatures so far and will be pushing for more before Wednesday's city council meeting.  At the meeting he will be pushing for a change in the ordinance.

"With that, there's also even a provision in there that it cannot be a nuisance, that way the city has some backing if they have to stop something that has gone to far," said Dize.

If Dize does not comply with the current ordinance, a violation has a potential penalty of up to a $500 fine or up to 90 days in jail.

WBOC made multiple attempts to reach Crisfield leaders for comments and our phone calls and messages went unreturned,

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