‘Signs of the times’ planned on Causeway

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — As the image of the Causeway becomes more aesthetically pleasing, Naples residents and business owners will talk about keeping up appearances.

“If we put up signs, we want to keep it in a uniform way, almost like the state parks do. So, when someone drives into Naples, they will notice that Naples has its own unique signage,” said Rick Paraschak, who sits on the Causeway Renovation Committee.

“Some of the Maine communities have done signage in a way to keep the character of the town,” he said.

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What: Public input meeting on Causeway signs

When: Thursday, Mar. 1, 6 p.m.

Where: Naples Town Office, meeting room

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The public input meeting on Causeway signage will be held Thursday, starting at 6 p.m., in the Naples Town Office meeting room.

“Nothing is in concrete. This is just the beginning of discussions,” Paraschak said.

“This is the beginning of a discussion to create a sign ordinance for the Causeway, and bring it to town meeting,” he said.

Paraschak added that the Town of Naples does have a sign ordinance, but the current ordinance does not address the Causeway specifically nor does it address large flags used as ”Open” signs or to display other messages.

Adding or changing a town ordinance will require the approval of voters at a town meeting.

Like the construction occurring on the Causeway, setting in stone a sign ordinance is a methodical and lengthy process.

Causeway Renovation Committee (CRC) Chairman, Bob Neault, described the public input meeting as a means to create self-governance among local business owners.

During a recent CRC meeting, members extended invitations to both the owners and operators of the businesses — most of which are open seasonally, from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.

“We have to start by including everyone that is impacted,” Paraschak said. “That is why we sent a special invite to businesses along the Causeway.”

Many residents “would hate to see it get polluted with a whole bunch of gaudy signs,” he said.

“It’s important to say we aren’t pointing fingers at anyone, but we believe it could get out of control easy, without regulating the signs,” he said.

“If someone is going to put up a sign, it has to be uniform. So, one business isn’t trying to outdo the other businesses with the biggest sign,” Paraschak said.

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