New Banner Ordinance for Stores


The Gilroy City Council Monday passed an ordinance limiting the amount of time stores can post banners, keeping them mostly around holidays.
The council set up a committee to study the problems of what some said is blight from overused signs in the city and they limited posting of banners to 140 days a year, in 10-day periods around the holidays.
Merchants, including Rosso’s on Monterey Street, said banners are important to let customers know about their businesses, at various times of the year. City staff worried that letting banners fly any time would restrict their ability to know how long one had been up.
According to the new ordinance merchants can put up banners on these holidays and the nine days before them: Valentine’s Day, New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Presidents Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
Promotional banners are allowed four times a year for 10 days and a permit is required for each. For a total of 40 days. Grand Opening and Going out of Business signs are now limited to a maximum of 45 days.
The restrictions were passed unanimously by the council.
“The changes to the sign ordinance have been a long time coming,” said Mayor Roland Velasco. “What we did was liberalized it a little and gave the business owners a little more flexibility on when they can be displayed. I really believe that this turned out to be a good solution for the business community and the city. The city is in a better position to enforce and the businesses have the ability to plan when they can do something.
“I think if you don’t have something in place, a lot of businesses will put banners out until they are tattered and worn and potentially could become blight issues. On one hand, we are trying to clean up the appearance of the city. On the other, we are trying to let business owners do the marketing they need to do. This was a great compromise.”
Monday, the council also passed a resolution honoring the towing company owned by Dion Bracco, Bracco’s, which has been in business for a quarter of a century. Bracco has been part of a national movement to help save the lives of tow truck drivers, one of whom dies every six days at an accident scene, the owner said–more than police, firefighters or highway workers.