Grand Park’s banners speak volumes about relationship with Town of Fraser
August 19, 2008
Despite the “confusion” about whether the banners hanging outside Grand Park are signs or safety barriers, we see them as signs ” signs of what is to come in the ongoing relationship between Grand Park and the Town of Fraser.
On Wednesday, Aug. 6, the issue of the banners hanging along U.S. Highway 40 came up during the public comment period at the Fraser Board of Trustees meeting. At the time, Town Manager Jeff Durbin said the town had requested the banners be removed because they violated the Grand Park Master Sign Plan, developed in 2006 between the developer and the Fraser Town Board.
In response, Grand Park contended the banners are exempt from the plan, because they are “safety barricades,” not signs.
The town asked Grand Park to submit a sign application. Since then, Grand Park has submitted two applications ” both of which have been returned by the town because they were incomplete.
Today, the unapproved banners still hang on a chain link fence at the entrance to the town of Winter Park. They advertise the Grand Park development and retail village. After some vandalism occurred, the banner advertising the “Grand Park Community Recreation Center” was taken down.
Because of the size and scope of the Grand Park development, it has a sign plan separate from Fraser’s sign ordinance for the rest of the town. The plan was approved by the Fraser town board on Sept. 20, 2006. It includes guidelines for entry signs, on-premise information signs and marketing signs.
An argument could be made, and has been made by the Fraser town government, that the advertising banners fit within this sign plan.
According to the Grand Park Master Sign Plan, the development must submit a sign permit application before hanging a sign. The application is approved according to the document. (To read the Grand Park Master Sign Plan, visit http://www.skyhidailynews.com)
That the unapproved signs continue to hang sends more than the message written on them. It’s an announcement to the community that the developers of Grand Park believe they are above the rules.
It announces that, rather than working in a spirit of cooperation with the town it is developing, Grand Park prefers to be stubborn.
The developers are wasting political capital and community goodwill over a couple of plastic banners.
The developers of Grand Park need to ask themselves, “What is our end goal?” Is it to become a valued member of the community of which it is a part, or is it to alienate itself through a series of small rebellions?
And the Fraser Board of Trustees must recognize that much larger battles will arise over the years and how it behaves in this small fight is important.
The “confusion” over the banner may seem like a minor thing, but if it cannot be resolved in a timely manner in accordance with previously agreed upon codes, what standing will the town have when it comes to a battle over something truly important?