Law working to rid St. Augustine of derelict signs

by: Lorena Incl\u00E1n Updated:

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - There's a new law on the books that could change the landscape of St. Augustine.

A new ordinance is pushing business owners to get rid of signs that are creating eyesores along major roadways in St. Johns County.

The new law in St. Augustine makes it illegal for properties to have old derelict signs. Some have already started to take them down while others have started to receive notices from the city.

Drive along Anastasia Boulevard and it won't take long for you to notice the rusty old eyesores.

One of the signs sits right in front of Kyle Goodwin's glass shop, Goodwin Glassworks.

“I’ve been very aware of it. It's just been a matter of priority and what I wanna do next door. There's another and across the street one more,” Goodwin said.

The city has identified a dozen of these signs and a new ordinance aims to take them down. One main reason is the 450th celebration taking place next year.

City spokesperson Paul Williamson said leaders want the city to look its best. 

“Right now, we have notified the first round of businesses that we need to start acting on this and they had six months to do it,” Williamson said.

Robert Nettles, who owns Blue Water Jewelers, said the law should only apply to business owners who don't intend on using them.

“For the businesses that want to improve the neighborhood, want to have a better sign, they should be allowed to upgrade their business,” Nettles said.

But the city said it is willing to work with property owners who can't take them down or want to save the structure by asking for an extension. 

Leaders tell Action News it's a matter of making sure St. Augustine leaves a great first impression.

“I can understand why they'd do it try to keep buildings clean, makes sense,” Nettles said.

The city said if property owners don't follow the new law, they could be sent to code enforcement and from there start receiving fines.