By Betsy Dolan
Drive down Avenue H in Rosenberg and you’ll see waving flags, banners and other display devices fluttering in the breeze and calling attention to various businesses. But not for much longer. Rosenberg’s City Council has put strict new measures in place to combat what they call “visual clutter” on the city’s streets. The city is trying to inform business owners about the change and let them know they have 60 days to take down any devices that violate the new ordinance.
“You see so many (display devices) when you’re driving down Avenue H, or Highway 36 or even Highway 59.” said Theresa Parma, Rosenberg’s Planning Director. “They’re everywhere and they’re a distraction for drivers.”
Citing asthetics and attractiveness as two minor components of the new sign ordinance, Parma said driver safety is the bigger issue. The new measure, which was passed at the City Council meeting on March 20, involves regulations for the display of flags, banners and display devices like the so-called “swoopers” which are narrow banners attached to stationary poles that wave back and forth.
The new ordinance calls for display devices such as swoopers, balloons, streamers and speer flags to be banned. Banners must be flush with the building and secured on all sides. Banners can also be mounted on a permanent structure but they have to be motionless. Approved flags have been defined as governmental, military, fraternal organizations, religious and charitable organizations. Businesses may fly a flag with their company name and logo but, as per flag etiquette, the flag cannot be larger than a governmental flag.
According to Parma, Rosenberg has been working on a sign ordinance for the better part of a year after numerous citizen concerns over safety were voiced. The city is still working out the details such as how the new ordinance will be enforced and what penalties companies could face.
“I think it is a start,” Parma said. “We’ll take some time to see how it is working out. We may need to review it and make some changes as we start to enforce it.