The recent “furor” on the part of a few unhappy individuals re: business “A”-board signs seems to me the very definition of a tempest in a teapot. It is so unfortunate that the self-defined aesthetic of a grumbley few can be used to hurt so many others.
While all can certainly agree that signs which impede pedestrians and congest narrow sidewalks are undesirable, banning such signs because an overly sensitive few think them ugly and unsightly is bad for business, bad for consumers and just plain bad public policy. Edmonds already has a fairly restrictive set of ordinances governing lighted and permanent business signs; taking away the ability to put out the familiar sandwich-board signs would be a further hindrance to business and just plain mean-spirited.
I have lived in Seattle, Shoreline and Edmonds; I regularly visit Edmonds and do business in the community. No one wants the Highway 99-type clutter of neon signs in Edmonds. But the attractive, well made A-board signs serve a very positive purpose for the community. These signs provide valuable information to residents and consumers (as much more visible high-profile signs are disallowed). Such signs also allow businesses, in a very unobtrusive manner, to make their presence known to the public. And despite the narrow minded opinion of some, these signs lend an atmosphere to the neighborhood that conveys vibrancy and activity.
The anti-sign faction would have us believe that the cold, sterile appearance of a quiet cemetery is superior to an active, vibrant and largely self-contained community of residents and businesses existing together in harmony and mutual benefit. My sense from most Edmonds residents I talk to is that this latter opinion is in the majority. I for one prefer healthy communities with healthy businesses to the quiet of empty storefronts and empty sidewalks.