Selma limits storefront ads

SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- New restrictions on storefront advertising were put into place in Selma. Officials said they made the move to improve the health of residents.

The City of Selma believed storefront ads for alcohol, cigarettes and sugary drinks take up too much space. A new ordinance limits ads to just 15% of plate glass windows and doors. Selma Mayor Scott Robertson said the intent was two-fold.

Robertson explained, "One it's going to give law enforcement a direct line of sight to the cash registers and it's also going to reduce the advertising of, say, tobacco and alcohol advertising to minors."

Selma became the first city in Fresno County to adopt a 15% sign ordinance.

County health educator Leila Gholamrezaei-Eha indicated there was a correlation between the size of the ads and product sales.

Gholamrezaei-eha said, "What we are seeing in stores in our county is that most advertisements are for tobacco, sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages."

Mayor Robertson added it's tough for kids to make healthy choices when they're bombarded by these ads.

Robertson said, "Storefront owners can still stay in business and make a profit but not on the backs of our kids."

The storefronts of all Selma businesses will be reviewed by code enforcement officers.
Brighton Boot N Shoe store owner Phil Brighton has kept his store front clutter free for his customers and officers on patrol.

Brighton said, "I think too the other issue is being able to see inside the store by police and other officials. It's a safety issue too I think."

The city won't be handing out fines just yet. Business owners will be advised of the change so they'll know if they need to clear window space.
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