Like many towns, we are supposed to be an eco-conscious place! Although we lost most of our magnificent tree/native plant lined street in our Core, never replaced, we still have mountain vistas, conservation areas and walkways for the pleasure of all of us. Attractive communities generate business, tourists, homeowners and instill a sense of pride, a sense of caring and a sense of place.
Cave Creek had taken steps to improve our community’s livability and reducing the visual assault to our senses by trash and illegal signs. But in recent years, many have ignored our codes. Our Town is a complaint-driven system. If no one complains it didn’t happen. “I can do whatever I please” has become the mantra. Sadly, causes town officials to enforce on some but not others.
Our historic core is being overrun with illegal free-standing signs, banners, and the like. Like screaming children in a crowded room the more everyone shouts, the less you can hear. Sign clutter works the same way; the benumbed viewer sees less not more. For citizens its a 24/7 benumbness! Compromises reached via past public hearings between citizens and many merchants have been ignored.
Town Marshal tries to educate the offenders of sign violations by introducing them to our sign codes. The violators pay attention for a few weeks but go back to their old ways. Sadly, not much “teeth” in the way of fines and penalties and we all know the only way left to change a pattern of behavior is with fines.
I have to wonder at the thought process of litterbugs. I often clean up trash on our streets and as I peruse the plethora of trash, I cannot think of any thing that could require a person to discard garbage along a roadway and our medians. Don’t those folks realize that someone has to clean up after them?
More has to be done! Our Town should install trash receptacles, camouflaged in an eclectic way throughout our main core. Merchants, real estate agents and citizens should review the sign ordinances and adhere to them. This makes for fair policing to all. Codes must carry fines and penalties in order to be respected and followed.
Just think, codes help keep visual clutter to a minimum and allows the architecture, western storefronts and mountain vistas to grab the attention they deserve. Abraham Lincoln said: “I like to see a man proud of the place they live in; I like to see a man live in it so his place will be proud of him.”
A public hearing before Planning Commissioners on Dec 13, at 7 pm at town hall to consider amending our Signage Code. Please attend.
Citizen Cave Creek