Hayden officials to address concerns over business signs | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden officials to address concerns over business signs

— Because of citizen complaints, Hayden Town Council members Thursday night will take a look at the rules the town has for signage at businesses.

Town staff members will give their reports beginning at 7 p.m., and the regular town council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

According to a staff report, the Hayden Police Department has received several complaints about businesses using excessive signage. In recent years, signage enforcement has been a "back-burner issue" because the town has wanted to support businesses during hard economic times.

Town staff members are asking council members whether they should strictly enforce the existing rules or if the rules should be changed.

"There are some code violations so we need to discuss it," Major Jim Haskins said.

Photographs showing the violations have been provided to council members. They show violations such as sandwich boards and sail-like banners, both of which are not allowed, according to the town's 28-page sign ordinance.

Haskins said he personally does not have a problem with the signs being used by businesses, but if there are complaints, the town cannot ignore them. He said whatever decisions the town council makes need to be applied uniformly to all businesses.

Hayden Chamber of Commerce President Louis Nijsten said the signage is important for businesses because many travelers pass through on U.S. Highway 40. Already, many lost dollars are driving through town, he said.

"If you want to get that traffic to stop, you won't get it without signage," Nijsten said.

Nijsten also owns and operates We B Smokin' BBQ with his brother Stef Nijsten. Their signage, which includes the sail-like banners, made a big difference for their business, Louis Nijsten said.

"It's always been difficult to survive as a business here," Nijsten said. "Whatever the town can do to help local businesses, I think they should."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland