By JoAnna Swanson • Guest Columnist
There are all kinds of signs — signs of the times; signs of the future (omens); traffic signs; stop signs and, of course, the ubiquitous election signs!
For some people, spending free time cross-referencing town fee schedules would be as boring as watching paint dry. But for Tyler Watras, a sign painter by trade, watching paint dry isn’t so bad, and delving into the world of sign permit fees is more likely to induce passion than yawns.
An explosion of campaign signs so large they could pass for miniature billboards cropped up seemingly overnight in Waynesville last week, creating a tizzy over what’s legal and what’s tasteful.
Finding the patchwork of greenway paths scattered across Haywood County is a bit like a scavenger hunt.
Larry Hollifield, owner of American Computer Repair in Franklin, has been tasked with forming a committee and coming up with a plan to allow for street banners in downtown.
Plenty of green is popping up in Bryson City, but it’s not all due to the growing season. Green wayfinding signs now scattered throughout town point to landmarks ranging from the Road to Nowhere to the Swain County Courthouse. It’s the culmination of a year-long project to make in-town navigation easier and streets more attractive.
Waynesville leaders last week voted to loosen the town’s sign rules at the behest of some business owners, but stopped short of allowing giant, blow-up inflatable characters.
For years Bryson City has battled gaudy signs, decrepit signs and too many signs, particularly along U.S. 19 coming into town. Until now, it’s never had a legal foot to stand on.
Pending changes to Waynesville’s sign laws could pave the way for sidewalk sandwich boards downtown, but they aren’t legal yet.
It’s not quite little Las Vegas, yet, but new sign laws in Sylva are clearing the way for a brighter, blinkier town.