Why 7-11 Received a Sign Violation

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On Wednesday night we ran this photo in front of one of the 7-11 locations on Fort Myers Beach on our Facebook page. Many of you were a little ticked that valuable code enforcement time was being spent penalizing a business over a sign.

It all started when someone lodged a complaint about the sign which automatically triggers an investigation from code enforcement. Code enforcement determined the sign was erected without the proper permit and the violation was issued.

By the way, state law requires that the name of any person who files a code enforcement complaint, be made public. The name of the person who made the complaint about 7-11 can be found in the town’s records.

Here’s what Town Manager Keith Wilkins said about the 7-11 sign infraction. ” We began enforcing our sign ordinance in response to multiple complaints, the proliferation of illegal signage and the additional visual clutter. We are all very happy to have 7-11 and other businesses reopening. However, I doubt this is an action by 7-11 but by their sign contractor not pulling a permit. In the big scheme of things sign violations are not nearly as critical as life safety regulations and we could have just made a call instead of distracting from their good news, or we can stop enforcing the sign ordinance and defend why we’re not acting on other sign complaints. If we enforce, we must treat everyone equitably and not favor 7-11 (good news) over another business. We welcome 7-11’s contractor on the island and would equally welcome them to come in, meet us and obtain a permit.”

While nobody wants the island to be one giant billboard for every company and contractor working on the beach, and 7-11 has been a horrible communicator with island residents about when it will open, when their rebuild sign went up, it was a sign of hope that, at some point soon , residents might not have to drive off the island for their basic needs. In addition to that, residents are already waiting and waiting for their permits to rebuild their homes because of a clogged up application process. How much slower would that process become when hundreds of sign permit applications are added to the system? As one council member told us yesterday, every once-in-a-while we just need to use common sense.

Here’s the actual violation that was taped to the sign…

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