GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Herbie’s Burgers is planning to open its third location in Guilderland on November 17. Owner Nicholas Warchol commissioned local artist Frank Smith to paint the sign on the building, but Warchol tells NEWS10 that the Town of Guilderland is not allowing the sign.
Guilderland has a section on signs in its zoning laws. The code states “no painted wall signs shall be permitted.” According to the code, the purpose of these sign laws is to “control the quality and quantity of signs so as to enhance the identification of business and professional enterprises and improve the visual quality of the community.” You can read all the Guilderland sign codes on the ECode360 website.
Warchol doesn’t understand why this is a rule. He admits that he wasn’t clear on the codes before painting the sign, but he refuses to paint over it. He said it’s a work of art and part of the aesthetic of Herbie’s, an old-school burger joint.
“It’s a dated code and doesn’t apply anymore,” said Warchol. “The sign’s not harmful to anyone.”
Warchol said he’s been talking with the Guilderland Code Enforcement Officer who suggested replacing the sign with vinyl or aluminum. The code enforcer is also willing to compromise on the sign, such as covering up just the name of the business with another material, but Warchol won’t do that.
According to Warchol, if the sign is not painted over or altered in any way, he could be ticketed, issued a citation, fined, and/or go to court. Warchol said the sign looks good and it would negatively affect his business if he changes it.
Warchol said he left a message for the Guilderland Town Supervisor about the issue but has not received a call back. NEWS10 has reached out to both the Code Enforcement Officer and Town Supervisor multiple times, but both have not returned our request for comment.
The new Herbie’s is located at 1827 Western Avenue in the former Inferno Pizza building. The spot will be opening at 9 a.m. every day, earlier than the other locations, to offer breakfast. Herbie’s other locations are in Albany and Latham.