Tomball cracking down on 'so-called' bandit signs

March 15, 2013 5:13:17 PM PDT
A sign crackdown is underway in Tomball. In just a few days, a new ordinance goes into effect that bans so-called bandit signs, including inflatable and extreme attention-grabbing ones.

Some say the signs are too distracting and clutter the city, but others believe they're necessary.

They are blowing in the wind now, but soon, a Tomball city ordinance will have them waving no longer. The small town northwest of Houston is looking for a more uniform look to the way businesses advertise. That means some signs will become illegal and finable.

"Our flags are up high. I don't believe they are in the street or harming anybody," said Linda Huntley, an employee of Windows to the Past, which has signs that will soon become illegal. "But I can see how if they where all up and down the street they could ruin the integrity of the antique district."

What the city of Tomball is looking to enforce is no signs higher that 43 feet and no bigger than 300 hundred square feet. Also, no inflatable, human, bandit or portable signs.

So the ones you see typically on dealerships would be in clear violation.

Tomball is looking to keep its small-town feel and the city's community development director, Craig Meyers, says this is another step in that direction.

"We are trying to reduce the visual clutter that can be seen throughout the city of Tomball. So we are trying to make it a more attractive for our citizens and business leaders," Meyers said.

The move to revitalize and capture what Old Town Tomball has to offer gets a tip-of-the-hat from other business owners. Otto's Emporium has been there 18 years.

"It looks neat, things are uniform. There are to many different things going on now as far as signage, and I think it's a distraction, pulls us down," said Earl Leppin with Otto's Emporium.

The ordinance takes effect March 20. They will give out warnings initially, but eventually a sign in clear violations could fetch a $2,000 fine.

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