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Monday, June 10, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - More on "West Lafayette officials say the banana constitutes a sign"

Updating this ILB entry from May 22nd, Ron Wilkins has a report today, with photo, in the Lafayette Journal-Courier. Some quotes:

Houses are not intended to be used as billboards, or at least that is the purpose of a countywide sign ordinance.

Yet Granite Management, an apartment management firm that uses a banana as a logo, is testing the limits of the sign ordinance and the patience of city officials with a giant banana it has emblazoned on two sides a West Lafayette rental house. * * *

“The intention was to get creative with how they painted the house,” [Granite Management office manager Joel Brovont] said, noting that the house needed a face lift.

“We hired a professional painter,” he said, “so obviously we are going to use it to promote brand awareness.”

The countywide ordinance allows for some signs, such as the placards on the sides of buildings with contact information for rental agencies.

“A for-rent sign or a contractor’s sign — doing roofing work, working on a house, painting a house — they’re allowed to have an incidental sign,” [West Lafayette City Engineer Dave Buck] said. “Granite has several of those (incidental signs) on all of their buildings as well. … Those are allowed.

“But this has a commercial message on it.”

According to Sallie Fahey, executive director of the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission, “If the banana is a logo, then I would say it’s probably a sign, just like if somebody painted the golden arches on a building. Everybody would know that’s a McDonald’s sign. It wouldn’t have to say McDonald’s. It would be a sign. Or any other business that has branded itself with a logo.”

But Brovont said, “It doesn’t seem like a cut-and-dry issue.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 10, 2013 09:17 AM
Posted to Indiana Government