McDonald’s is a Blight

There was a brief story in the Houston Press about all the broken McDonald’s signs in Houston.

broken_mcdonaldsThere is an annoyed citizen that has taken his grip to the newest town square: Facebook. He created a Facebook Group to help people voice their shared annoyance.

I joined the group on Wednesday as the 34th member. I suspect if the group gets traction it should be over 1000 people in no time. And if other media in town mention it, it could go well above that.  (Or, if it goes no further than here, it could peak at 35 some time next week.)

I think if it gets noisy enough, we could likely get the Houston City Council to do something about it.

In the City of Houston (and I suspect in most jurisdictions) you need a valid sign permit to have a sign. If you go into most businesses with a sign, their sign permit will be posted somewhere visible. These permits need to be renewed on a regular basis.

It seems to me that the city could issue a citation for a broken sign. If not fixed within a given amount of time (6-12 months?) the sign permit could be permanently revoked, and the sign removed. Fines to ensue.

There are, of course, many businesses that are not in use, and without valid sign permits. I think they should fall under general property rules. But operating businesses need to keep their signs maintained.

Even further, I think the McDonald’s signs are an eyesore when not in disrepair. I would remove the ability to build signs more than 20 feet above your building height. The towering Ms are an eyesore.

Many years ago (in my youth) McDonald’s was building a new store at the entrance to suburban subdivision Lakewood Forest northwest of town. The neighborhood circulated a highly-signed petition stating they would not eat there until the three-story pole sign was removed and replaced with one ground level. It worked.