Roeland Park issues new special signage permit to Liberty Tax, but concerns that signs have ‘pushed the envelope’ linger

Photo via Brad Clinesmith on Flickr.
Liberty Tax uses inflatable Statues of Liberty to promote its tax services each year. Photo via Brad Clinesmith on Flickr.

By Holly Cook

Motorists traveling through Roeland Park can expect to see increased signage advertising from Liberty Tax, located at 4994 Roe Blvd., between April 12 and April 18. But city officials note that Liberty Tax had recently violated the city’s signage regulations and promised to keep a close eye on the company’s implementation.

The city council this week approved a special event permit allowing Liberty Tax to temporarily display an inflatable Statue of Liberty, four wind feather signs, four directional yard signs and an A-frame sign outside its Roeland Park branch.

The council also had previously granted a special permit for increased signage and the inflatable Feb. 13 through Feb. 20. In the permit request, Liberty Tax reported that 40 percent of its annual revenue is derived from walk-in or line-of-sight customers, and that the signage helps drive that traffic.

During Monday’s meeting, councilmembers Sheri McNeil and Michael Poppa questioned whether the business was displaying more signs than allowed. Councilmember Teresa Kelly also noted concerns some signage may be in the public’s right-of-way.

“They’re pushing the envelope on placement and everything,” Kelly said.

City administrator Keith Moody said signs needed to remain on private property.

Mayor Joel Marquardt suggested the city closely monitor Liberty Tax during the next special event to ensure they remain in compliance.

“We will make sure that whatever is in fact up is within code and within the special event,” said assistant city administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy.

Roeland Park code enforcement checked on the site Tuesday and found the business had put up four temporary and two directional signs that were not in compliance with signage code.

John Jacobson, Roeland Park building official, said the city had notified Liberty Tax on Tuesday that the additional signs needed to be removed until the next special event period starts on April 12.