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Proposed Ban On Sandwich Board Signs Causes Controversy In Patchogue

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PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a battle brewing on Long Island over whether safety and aesthetics should win out over free speech and enterprise.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, sandwich board signs are springing up all over Long Island and the village of Patchogue is considering getting rid of them altogether.

The village recently held a meeting and formed a committee to consider banning the sandwich board advertisements.

Chamber of Commerce member James Bonanno says merchants don’t like a hodgepodge look and want to work out a solution with the village that won’t incur additional costs.

Business owners like Phyllis Butler, however, say if they’re paying for the space, they have the right to do what they want. “Especially if I’m paying rent, paying for this spot. I would like to be able to put a sign out.”

Another proposal being considered is to restrict the signs, rather than ban them, McLogan reported.

The restrictions would mandate the signs be no higher than 2 feet tall, tethered to the business, and no farther than 6 inches away from the building.

Some non-profits, churches and schools told McLogan they wonder if amending the village code to ban sandwich boards will pass constitutional muster.

Patchogue’s mayor, however, says he doesn’t want the downtown area to look like a flea market and that while there are some sandwich boards that are wonderful, some can be tacky, McLogan reported.

The great sandwich board controversy will continue with public comment open until the next village meeting in February, when voting on the ban is expected.

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