Merchants are elated over a new sign ordinance approved by the City Council.
Calling it a liberal move for Villa Park, council members agreed it was time to change the city's 25-year-old sign ordinance, which prohibited all neon lighting and restricted the size, shape and color of signs used by businesses.
Now merchants are being allowed to display two neon signs on their storefront windows.
"I'm thrilled," said Jim Brodsky, owner of Villa Park Pharmacy and board member of the Villa Park Merchants Assn. "Anything that will make a business a little more accessible to the public is a plus for the community and a plus for the businesses."
Council members did restrict the neon signs to ones that say "open" and ones that advertise a generic service or product, such as "haircuts" or a picture of an ice cream cone.
Marty Colleary, owner of Rockwell's Cafe and Bakery, said he feared the shopping center that the town's 44 businesses are located in will turn into the "Las Vegas strip."
"I think it could get out of control," he said. But council members assured Colleary that the sign law will be enforced.
Neon signs must measure four square feet or less. Violators will first receive a telephone notice and, if they do not comply, the city attorney will send a letter warning.
Merchants said they don't expect any problems, however, because the new ordinance is "pretty liberal."