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Lewisboro Weighs Changes in Rules for Real Estate Signs

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Real estate agencies would have more leeway to add information to their “For Sale” signs under proposed changes in the Lewisboro sign ordinance.

Realtors have been asking the Lewisboro Town Board for the change and several spoke at this week’s board meeting about how they would like to see the ordinance amended.

“We want to be able to enhance the sign with things like the company name, website, logo and QR [quick response] codes,” said Keith Levey of William Raveis Real Estate. The law currently only allows for the words, “For Sale by Broker” and a phone number.

QR codes are similar to bar codes and are recognized by smartphones, Levey said. When a smartphone user waves a phone in front of the QR code, information about the home for sale is sent to user’s email account. Buyers in the younger demographic prefer to shop for real estate that way, he said.

“Gen X and Gen Y don’t want to talk to anyone in person – at least not right away,” Levey said. “They want to get the information first.”

The law should also allow for signs to have “riders,” he said. Riders are smaller signs that hang by a chain from the larger sign and usually contain the name and phone number of the real estate agent who is selling the house.

Levey said he understood the law was originally created to prevent signs that were tacky, garish or too large, but he said his profession feels the same way.

“We are very concerned about the way things look, but we want a more modern standard,” he said. “We are not looking to erect neon billboards like it was Las Vegas.”

Mary Ellen Walsh of Houlihan-Lawrence said the industry is concerned about the real estate market and wants to everything it can do to bolster sales.

“Signs do help when tastefully done,” she said. “Adding the name of the company provides branding and drives people to the website. It’s also important to add the QR code so that people can take advantage of that.”

The board members seemed amenable to the change.

“We don’t want visual clutter, but we want to be able to help business, so we are trying to be permissive,” said council member Frank Kelly.

The amended law would not have to codify the riders, as long as they don’t make the overall sign bigger than the ordinance stipulates, Deputy Superintendent Peter DeLucia said. As part of the amended law, the board would consider increasing the allowable size of real estate signs from 3 square feet to 4 square feet, he said.

The board, in conjunction with the town attorney, will draft a proposed amendment to the sign ordinance and hold a public hearing on the matter at its June 11 meeting.

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