The saying ‘the only thing that is constant is change’ is so true. Business owners know that over time city laws change, zoning ordinances change, and the status quo changes. Greg Theriault, owner of One Stop Mini Storage, recently discovered that the status quo for part of his business has changed.
His business is in Biddeford, Maine. In 2012, the city had a capital improvement project to improve the sidewalks and the streetlights on their lower Main Street. At the same time, they looked at the existing signage on that area of the street. The city made proposals to reduce the ‘clutter’ of signage.
One of the signs that was removed was a sign that One Stop Mini-Storage had in front of their business designating a space as a 15-minute loading zone. After the improvement project was completed, that sign was never put back up.
When Theriault contacted the city to get the sign put back up, the city told him that the city parking ordinance didn’t allow for a loading zone there.
Over 14 years ago, a restaurant equipment dealer, Blue Cold Distributors, used to be located at that site. That business put up a loading-zone sign so that trucks could park there to load and unload their restaurant equipment.
Fast forward to 2012. The restaurant equipment dealer is no longer in business and The One Stop Mini-Storage is there instead. The loading zone sign is still up – that is until the street improvements were made.
Guy Casavant, Public Works Director, said that it appeared that there wasn’t anything in the city books to support the area to be designated as a loading zone. There was the possibility that it might have been on the books at one time but currently it wasn’t.
After the improvements on the sidewalks and streetlights was finished, the city workers put the sigs back up according to what was indicated by the current parking ordinance. Since there wasn’t anything in the ordinance about a loading zone in front of the One Stop Mini Storage business, the sign wasn’t re-installed.
Theriault is now working with Ward 2 City Councilor, David Bourque, to get the loading zone designation. The request will have to be reviewed by the Capital Operations Committee. The Chief of Police needs to approve that the designation will not affect traffic.
Once the Capital Operations Committee approves the request, the proposal must be approved by the city council. Theriault is hopeful that the approval will be granted by November.
“Loading zone sign in downtown gone.” Courier; 07 November 2013.