Published in this week’s Hendersonville Lightning (on page 9), but not yet online, our CLG response to the Lightning’s story last week on the sign dispute in Flat Rock:
The recent article in the Hendersonville Lightning entitled “Flat Rock braces for court fight over signs” contains a number of misstatements worth correcting. These misstatements mischaracterize our serious concerns with the Village ordinance, and our efforts to help the Mayor and the Village Council find a simple solution that adheres to our Constitution and helps keep Flat Rock clean and beautiful.
Mayor Staton suggests that litigation is the only alternative to anarchy. This is incorrect. The simple solution is to amend the sign ordinance in a way that is content neutral and places reasonable restrictions on signage in the Village. If Mayor Staton is looking to raise taxes, he should just say so. But he should not blame it on litigation the Village could easily avoid.
We understand the benefit that constitutional sign ordinances bring, and we support one for Flat Rock. In fact, there are many examples of constitutional sign ordinances currently in effect around the country that the Village could look to as a starting framework. What we simply request is an ordinance that is consistent with our rights as American citizens.
If the Mayor and Village Council choose not to pursue the constitutional option by amending the ordinance and there is litigation, it will not be a contest between a big law firm and a small NC village. Rather, it will be an effort by our group of Flat Rock citizens to protect the rights of everyone in the Village from elected officials who think they are above our Constitution. And it is our Constitution that sets the standard, not the Mayor and Village Council.
Paul and Anne Coletta
Flat Rock, NC