Update | Yard signs are fine for Nursery at Mount Si

North Bend has no problem with the small yard signs that say "We Support The Nursery at Mount Si." Those signs, described in last week's article "The Sign Struggle," are on private property, and are just businessman Nels Melgaard's response to an ongoing problem he has with the city over his A-frame signs advertising The Nursery at Mount Si.

"I'm not violating that code (with the yard signs), and the code that I am violating… it's a loose law anyway, because it's enforced sometimes in some situations, and not for others," Melgaard says.

Melgaard's A-frames, with arrows pointing to his business, run afoul of the North Bend sign code when he sets them out on North Bend Way. City code bans off-site advertising, with few exceptions, and staffers can confiscate any such signs found in the city's business district, or in city rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.

However, many other signs also violate the code -- Melgaard has a handful of notes from customers making their own illegal sign counts in the last few weeks -- and a few nursery supporters have scolded the city for discriminating against the nursery. Melgaard and city officials all say there is no discrimination, and Melgaard recalled several years in which the city never confiscated one of his A-frames.

The signs are important for directing people to his business, outside of city limits, Melgaard says. He's also received letters of support from local people who rely on the signs.

"Even us residents rely on those signs," Melgaard read from a recent e-mail message, "to let us know when sales are happening, when the pumpkin patch is ready.. and when it's time to pick blueberries at Bybee-Nimms."

For now, Melgaard is not planning to make any more "We Support" signs. "I made 100 of them, and they're out there," he said. "I don't want it to get ridiculous."

However, customers continue to ask for more, so he may consider it.

North Bend's sign code was last updated in 2006.


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