Pascagoula businessman challenges city's sign ordinance

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – A Pascagoula business owner wants to challenge the city's sign ordinance. Michael Majure is frustrated because the city wouldn't let him advertise his business near Highway 90.

The Petit Bois Cafe owner said between the tough economy and the Gulf oil spill, his business is down 40 percent. In an effort to attract more customers, Majure extended his hours and created a colorful banner to put on busy Highway 90. But his plan hit a roadblock when he asked the Pascagoula City Council for permission to hang the sign.

"I was told, 'No.' I asked them why, and they said, 'We don't do that.' But it has been done in the past," Majure said. "I can run around this town and show you a sign violation everywhere."

The city's community development director disagrees.

"If we let him put that sign out, then every other business would want to put a sign up," Harry Schmidt said. "Then the temporary banner, eventually they fall apart, they blow down the street and part of the sign ordinance is to address site litter."

But Majure said charities and community groups get to put signs along Highway 90. He can't understand why the city won't let small businesses do the same.

"Let me put a few signs up, help me out," Majure said.

The city will offer some help in the form of an updated sign ordinance in the future. But Michael Majure said his business is trying to survive in Pascagoula right now.

"I don't want to close down my stores. I don't want to put people on the unemployment rolls. I want business."

Restaurants like the Petit Bois Cafe could get a business boost from the city, which is developing a new campaign to promote eating in Pascagoula at night and on weekends.

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