Apparently the Beer Depot has run afoul of the city's sign ordinance and historic preservation laws. They are trying to restore or replace their classic neon sign after it was blown over during a wind storm in April of this year. From their Save our Sign blog:
...the reason the sign couldn’t go back up was that the sign didn’t meet the “height, size and setback requirements of Chapter 61, the City’s sign ordinance," the ordinance also specifies that “no nonconforming sign shall be repaired or erected after being damaged if the repair or erection of the sign would cost more than 50 percent of the cost of an identical new sign.” This meant that if the cost of restoring the sign were less than half the cost of an all-new replacement, we could probably get approval. The problem? We probably could have fudged numbers, but lying is wrong, and any honest sign company will tell you that there was no way those numbers would work in our favor. So we got a “nay” from the city. On their behalf, they did this without making us jump through all the clerical hoops involved.
Personally, I would like to see the sign back up. What do you think gentle readers? Is this the end of the age of neon signs in Ann Arbor, or is there room in our skyline to preserve classic signs like the Beer Depot's?
Photo via: mediageek
Hat tip: Jessica French