(Southaven, MS) When Dale's, Southaven’s most popular restaurant, closed down a while after a kitchen fire at its Stateline Road location, Shirley Looney, who runs a restaurant across the street, saw an opportunity to grow her business.
She had a sign made letting passersby know of her "Country Skillet" restaurant, and put it out along Stateline Road where people could see it.
”I put it in my truck and I thought it was OK, as long as it wasn’t planted anywhere and I put it at the end of the road, and after six hours I was told to take it away.”
She ran afoul of Southaven’s strict sign ordinance. As Looney said, it only took Code Enforcement officers a matter of hours to track her down.
Southaven has always been particular about signs, their size, and especially where they’re placed. City leaders have always called it a “beautification issue."
But Looney says other businesses along Stateline have similar signs, and the purpose of her temporary sign was just to keep people in the habit of coming to the area for lunch or dinner.
Southaven’s planning department didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Looney has appealed to Southaven’s mayor for a little help.
”I told him how it was not fair for some people to put signs up and some can’t. I’m hoping he’ll reply back I’m hoping he’ll let me know something.”
In the meantime, she’s put up another, less visible sign, she says, the city can live with.