A message from business owners to the city of Abilene.
"That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator for certain unalienable rights. That among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said business owner Tim Smith.
"Is our city government in Abilene infringing on business rights, personal ownership rights?" Smith Added.
Its a question that keeps coming up, as local business owners continue to voice their outrage on the proposed sign law.
"We're looking at doing things that have no real impact other than someones interpretation of what looks good or not," Said Resident Brent Bell.
Today's hearing focused on regulations for banners, flags and streamers. That's just one piece of a plan designed to improve the looks of the city. A plan designed eight years ago, and one that's relevance is constantly being questioned.
"Were in a different time now, maybe we need to look less at controlling and more on encouraging," Said Bell.
"I know the question has come up a number of times, or people suggesting we shouldn't do this. And that's certainly a question for you and for city council of should we be regulating aesthetics at all," Asked Planning Director Jon James.
"The one thing that I don't want to do out of any of this, is I don't want to put somebody out of business," Said Committee member Gary Glenn.
Fear, concern and outrage continue to be the theme of these public hearings, with no clear end in sight.
"We all love Abilene, however there is a clear tension between small business and government," Said Smith.
The planning and zoning committee made it clear that they are the ones who will ultimately have the final say in sending the proposal to council, and they will take everything the public says at those hearings into consideration.
You can attend upcoming hearings:
February 20th will focus on portable signs.
March 5th, will focus on the height and size of signs
March 19th will discuss issues of non-compliance and enforcement.
The committee hopes to make their final review by the end of march.