By DAVID CARKHUFF/THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILMANTON — At the Historic District Commission on Tuesday, the operators of the Corner Slice convenience store and gas station received assurance that the town is reviewing its sign ordinances, after a flap concerning a standalone "open" banner at the historic district business.
The Planning Board, the Historic District Board and the Zoning Board are reviewing all sign ordinances, confirmed Roy Buttrick, member of the Gilmanton Planning Board. Buttrick said his focus is on finding resolution, noting that board members are volunteers.
"What I really want to do is positive, positive. Everybody is working together to try to get this done," he said.
A 15-foot flag with the word "open" on it was taken down at the Corner Slice, a business that has faced a host of regulatory hurdles before it opened last summer. The freestanding vertical flag with the word "open" that once attracted customers from nearby Route 140 and Route 107 was disallowed by town staff, who told owners Henry and Rachel Vigeant to take it down.
Annette Andreozzi, land use administrator for Gilmanton, said the Corner Slice "was trying to do something that didn't fit into the rules," prompting the commission review.
Now, according to Rachel Vigeant, the Historic District Commission has provided guidance that information from the town office will emanate from new town administrator, Heidi Duval, rather than from particular departments.
And the town is trying to update its ordinances, to cover instances where rules don't specify particular uses. For example, Buttrick said the freestanding "open" banner is not covered in the signs ordinance, which addresses signs but not banners.
Rachel Vigeant said she and her husband, Henry, have voluntarily discontinued use of the 15-foot banner while the town sorts out its rules.
"The larger flag – that's our choice, we're working with the boards until they make a decision. All entities will be reviewing everything," she said Wednesday.
Rachel Vigeant said the larger 15-foot flag was up for about two weeks before she and her husband took it down. A smaller flag continues to protrude from the side of the store, located near the corner of Route 140 and Route 107.
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