Cambridge Cracks Down on Fluttering Sign Ordinance, Now Discussi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cambridge Cracks Down on Fluttering Sign Ordinance, Now Discussing Possible Modifications

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Blue Water Marine has been using "fluttering signs" for eight years before receiving a warning (Photo:WBOC) Blue Water Marine has been using "fluttering signs" for eight years before receiving a warning (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- When life passes by your business, you want to pull people in.  That's why many business owners in Cambridge use flags and signs to grab people's eyes as they pass by or they are stuck at a light.  Charlie Bono at Carmela's Cucina uses them to bring in customers who are stuck waiting for the Maryland Avenue drawbridge.

"They have time actually to read sometimes, they wait for the bridge to open for 10 minutes," Bono said. "The signs define the business that you run and the special that you put out.  Sometimes it helps."

Blue Water Marine also takes advantage of signs and flags. It has for eight years now. But the business got a letter the other day telling it those flags actually violate an ordinance.

"I mean I understand what they're getting at.  They don't want the place filled up with trashy looking pennants or flashing lights and that's certainly not what these are," said David Hurley with Blue Water Marine.

The ordinance was put in place years ago because several long closed car dealerships were causing a distraction for drivers with flags and banners.  Hurley wants to know where the line is drawn between attraction and distraction.

"I hear distraction, but a distraction is an attraction to get your attention. It's no different from a nice storefront or nicely landscaped something that makes you veer over to see what's going on there or what that place has to offer.  But we don't have many accidents here on Cedar Street so I'm thinking they're okay," said Hurley.

The city planning commission will be discussing whether or not to enforce, remove, or modify the ordinance on Tuesday.  Charlie Bono is hoping it's at least made more reasonable.

"If you want to put them out and tell the people what kind of special you have, you should be able to do that. As long as it's not directly interfering with traffic," said Bono.

Business owners are waiting patiently to see what Tuesday brings.

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