Businesses Told To Turn Off Decorative Lights

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(Southaven, MS) Lashell Box says her local gas station is a little brighter these days, thanks to new LED lights around the windows ”I think they’re convenient. It brings the people to the store. It attracts your attention”.

More and more stores are using these lights in cities all across the Mid-South.

Jimmy Ford says the gas station he used to work for had all kinds of lights ”We put a lot of lights up, neon and stuff. It don’t bother me at all”.

Two weeks ago, Southaven leaders told us they weren’t happy with the bright lights ”We started researching our existing ordinances and found we do have a section on lighted signs that defines these lights, basically to a T” said Planning Director Whitney Choat-Cook.

The broadly-written ordinance severely restricts what stores can and can’t use to advertise their business, from the signs they put out to just about any means to attract attention.

Managers here say they don’t like the idea of the city telling them to take down these lights. They tell me this corner was actually pretty dark before they installed new lighting, including these strips around the windows.
Southaven’s Planning Department sent out these letters informing business owners about the ordinance.

”We have sent out letters to people that currently have them and asked them to remove ‘em”. If they don’t, businesses can be fined.

The City is even going after the people who sell the lights, warning them against selling them to Southaven businesses.

But some customers say they don’t like the idea ”Me personally, I wouldn’t want to go to a gas station that’s dark. I wanna have lights. It makes me feel safe”.

City leaders say more lights are fine, but decorative lights, aren’t.