The laws and requirements regarding business operations can change often and at various levels. In some cases, ordinances that have been part of the law for some time but that have not faced much enforcement could suddenly place business owners in a difficult position if the city chooses to enforce them. Of course, if businesses do not comply, they could face significant penalties.
Minnesota readers may be interested in this type of scenario currently taking place in another state. According to reports, a sign ordinance for businesses that has been a part of the local law for approximately 20 years has only recently begun to be enforced. Details on what the ordinance requires for the signs were not provided in the report, but it appears to require business owners to avoid certain signage practices on their front doors and windows.
The situation involves the following circumstances:
- Business owners began receiving notices regarding sign ordinance violations earlier this year.
- Businesses that do not get their front signage in compliance with the ordinance could face a fine of $1,000 per day.
- One city commissioner indicated that the ordinance enforcement is about safety as well as aesthetics but did not provide further detail on how the enforcement would increase safety or why the enforcement was happening now.
- Numerous business owners have expressed their displeasure with the sudden enforcement and possible penalties.
When local government begins enforcing ordinances that have not been enforced in decades, it can certainly come as an upset to business owners. As this case shows, facing the prospect of a hefty daily fine for noncompliance could quickly become overwhelming if owners who are not in compliance cannot remedy their signage issues immediately. If Minnesota business owners are dealing with similar problems with their local government ordinance enforcement, they may want to look into their legal options.