Ormond Beach small business' signage dispute with city resolved
Since the owners of Woodstock South were forced to take down their banner from their storefront — a violation of city code — revenue has decreased at the very time the owners have needed it the most.
“We don’t do that much business here," said Woodstock South owner Davis Oshman said. "We’re a hippie shop in the middle of where there aren’t that many hippies.”
But it hasn't been easy.
Oshman said he went to the city's building department to request a permit for a new sign but was denied. He was told he would need a design professional to show the sign was up to Florida's building code. The requirement would force Oshman to spend over $1,000 on Woodstock South's new sign.
“The whole goal is to get them into compliance," Ormond Beach Plannin Director Steven Spraker said.
Spraker added Oshman's initial request consisted of a 30-square-foot sign, which solicited the design professional requirement. Oshman, who was on a Planning Board in Massachusetts, said he couldn't argue with state law but wondered if it was upheld across the board. He said the last owner of the building had a large sign that was not looked at by a design professional, and the city never said anything.
“That’s a Florida building code requirement," Spraker said. "That’s not something we can waive once you get over 16 square feet.”
However, he said the city provided him some other options, including painting a sign onto his building's exterior or putting up a sign measuring 16 square feet or less.
In the end, Oshman has decided to put up a sign measuring less than 16 square feet.
“I don’t want to fight them," Oshman said. "I want to feel like I’m part of the community, and they have gone out of their way to make me feel like I don’t.”
Getting a response from Spraker on the matter, though, made him feel as if someone at least was listening. That felt good, Oshman said in an email.
Woodstock South is Oshman's livelihood. He lives above the store with his wife and five-year-old daughter, and despite this hiccup, they still love the city. Oshman still firmly believes in his hippie shop.
“To me, small businesses are the core to any city, no matter how big the city is," Oshman said.