Second hand store displays: good marketing or eyesore?

Second hand store displays: good marketing or eyesore? »Play Video

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The City of Roseburg is dusting off a 15-year-old ordinance and putting it into effect. Some business owners in Roseburg may have to change the way they do business, or pay the price.

The Dusty Hutch on SE Stephens Street has just about everything. Lately, all that stuff is getting lots of attention, and not the kind the owners bargained for.

Shane and Dawn Hutchinson, the owners of the Dusty Hutch, received a letter from the city, stating that second hand shops in areas zoned for commercial use can't have second hand goods on display outside the building. "The used stuff out front was an eyesore, I guess," said Shane.

Teresa Clamons, a community planner for the City of Roseburg, says the used items are an issue. "This is an issue, because I drive into town that way and it's not a good gateway to Roseburg," she said.

The city reminded thrift store owners about a couple of ordinances that limit the sale of used goods to fully enclosed structures in certain zones of Roseburg. "The ordinance does state specifically, second hand stores have to keep things inside the building," said Clamons.

But, that doesn't go for every store in Roseburg. Peggy Cheatham of While Away Books, puts less expensive items on shelves outside to attract customers. "You know, a lot of sales come from visualization," she said.

The city says while a 'few' items outside are OK, they do have rules. And, with customer complaints stacking up, the old way is history. "It really hadn't been that big of a deal until last summer, when we got citizens' complaints," Clamons said.

Meanwhile, Shane and Dawn Hutchinson fear their livelihood will be threatened if they have to change the way they advertise. "The things that are outside is what our customers stop in for," said Shane. "That's 60% of our revenue."

Dawn told KPIC News what she thinks will happen if the city goes forward with enforcing the ordinance. "I think they'll (customers) probably think we're closed."

The city is looking into a compromise, and using Sweet Home as a model. Sweet Home uses a permit system, and only allows what you can fit inside at night to be out during the day.

But, if thrift stores don't change by November, they will be subject to a fine, starting at $500 a day.