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Harsh restriction

By: Penelope Moore
Published: 9/2/2004Source: The Shelter Island Reporter

To the Editor:
It is not surprising that the two real estate brokers who appeared at the recent Town Board meeting protesting the town upholding the code banning all real estate signs are two independents and essentially sole practitioners.

It is ironic that this town, which prides itself in being independent from Suffolk County in many respects and defends small Island businesses, will effectively hurt small real estate agencies by enforcing the ban on signs.

No sign, whether real estate, contractor or business, is particularly attractive but it is an effective form of advertising a product and it is free. Many owners, when listing their property for sale, specifically request that a sign be posted as part of the service that a real estate agency provides. These signs do not simply advertise a name, but in calling attention to a property serve a purpose, unlike other signs that the town approves of. Small real estate agencies will now be forced to spend money on advertising.

Others may try to find other creative ways of posting their signage, as has already occurred on Lake Drive; a real estate broker has posted a sign indicating "For Sale By Owner" with its own agency telephone number, which is expressly prohibited under New York State real property law.

In a small community such as this, it should be a priority to reach a compromise, rather than to enforce an unnecessarily harsh restriction directed toward a specific profession attempting to deliver a service to their clientele.
Stearns Point Road