Hanging 'Best of' banners outside not best practice

The display of banners awarded for The Record-Courier's Best of Carson Valley awards has resulted in a rash of sign ordinance violations and headaches for county officials.

About a dozen businesses in and around the Carson Valley were displaying the 2-by-3-foot banner outside of their buildings without acquiring the proper county permits, said Jay Hoogestraat, code enforcement officer for Douglas County. Banners may only be displayed outside for 10 consecutive days within any given month.

"The business owners were getting mad," he said. "They get an award, put it up, and then they have to take it down."

The permit costs $100 for a year and can be obtained at Douglas County's Community Development department on the second floor of the Minden Inn, 1594 Esmeralda Avenue in Minden, Hoogestraat said.

"The application is small and the county doesn't regulate the content of the banner, but the size is limited to 32 square feet," Hoogestraat said. "They can be placed on buildings, but not on trees, shrubs, or between fence posts."

Every year, The Record-Courier asks its readers to pick their favorites in 90 categories, including everything from best doctor to best place to get married. Winners get a certificate and those purchasing a quarter-page ad get a free banner.

Janet Geary, publisher of The Record-Courier, said the banners are provided to businesses who win their category, but the newspaper does not tell people how to display them.

"However, The R-C has been presenting our 'Best of' winners with banners for several years without incident," Geary said.

Smaller banners that may be hung inside will be provided next year to comply, she said.

Douglas County stepped up enforcement on all sign issues in September after county commissioners amended and approved a new sign ordinance, Hoogestraat said.

The county has also hired an addition code enforcement officer.

n Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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