Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Effective Advertising in a Tough Economy: Bonnie Quinn & Down Home Delights, Oro Valley, AZ

Bonnie Quinn and her A-Frame Sign for Down Home Delights, Oro Valley AZ

A-Frame signs are illegal in the town of Oro Valley, AZ.

That's a problem for businesses struggling to survive in these tough economic times, and so the town council met last Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of temporary relief from the Sign Code for Oro Valley businesses.

Oro Valley deems these signs unsightly.

Bonnie Quinn, owner of Down Home Delights on Oracle Road, carried that sign you see on the right to the meeting and set it up for the council to see as she addressed them:

I opened my cafe and bakery, Down Home Delights, in 2007.  Like other businesses, [Down Home Delights] has taken a huge hit from the economy.  I am in a small strip mall, set back from the road behind a hill, with horrible visibility from the road. 

The most effective form of identification for me is an A-Frame sign near the road.  I put an A-Frame sign out last weekend, and doubled my sales revenue from the previous weekend.  It works.  I know it works.  New customers who came in that weekend said to me "It's great that you have a sign on the road, so we knew who you were."

When I told them I'm not allowed to have that sign out there, they were flabbergasted!  It's what brought them into my cafe that day.  Thay know it works. 

...I want to work within the guidelines of a reasonable sign code that protects the economic stability of my business and this town.  I believe these signs can be used reasonably and effectively. 

I believe Oro Valley residents want small businesses to thrive.  ...we need help, even if it's just temporary, to get through this recession.  It's unsightly...to have shuttered businesses and empty storefronts!  ...it undermines consumer confidence and is a bad indicator for prospective new businesses and [people considering a move to] Oro Valley.  Respectfully, I request relief from the sign code.


Down Home Delights: Mike in Tucson

Down Home Delights

10110 N Oracle Rd # 180
Tucson, AZ 85704-7609
(520) 219-9300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (520) 219-9300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices (AZ) Mesa, Tucson, Nogales, and Albuquerque, NM.


Comment balloon 28 commentsMike Jones • July 26 2010 08:45AM



OK! that sign worked for me...or maybe your post...I'm heading over for coffee and breakfast...should be there in a few days...Oh Wait..I have a client coming to look at land...

Great post...

Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) over 10 years ago


It's good to see local government remember they work for the people!


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 10 years ago


The Oro Valley council listened to several people that evening, and we're pleased with the result.  The Cafe has wonderful food too!


Thanks for being the first to comment!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike, A very good hyper local post. It is always encouraging when people elected to serve can use reason and logic to make revisions in the code. I am not totally sure there is enough of it taking place to save us from economic ruin but we can be hopeful at least when some  communities uses it collective wisdom to make decisions.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 10 years ago

Mike, I am glad they passed it, and hope your local hyper post will give them an even better boost.  It looks like a very nice little restaurant, it sure makes me want to sit down and enjoy.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 10 years ago

Mike - I also am glad they passed it for the local businesses to help them with traffic. And that is great you posted it here as well, I am sure it is well received.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 10 years ago


We're part of a start-up church that wants to put A-Frame signs out near Oracle Road on Sundays since we're meeting in the cafeteria of Pusch Ridge Academy.  Bonnie Quinn did an outstanding job at the council meeting.


It's a wonderful cafe!  The food, the service and the ambiance are all fantastic.


One day at a time...  Thanks for commenting.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Hopefully your hyper local post will result in additional business.  I'll bookmark your post so that I can stop by Down Home Delights the next time I'm in Tucson.

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) over 10 years ago

WHY ARE A-Frame signs are illegal in the town of Oro Valley, AZ.???????????????/

What the (*(^$$^&*  sense did the ordanance make in the first place.  Just too many people making too many useless and worthless laws.  Fire them all.  How much money are they making and what law gives them that much power. 

Are there any remaining law makers that give a (**^%$ about the citizens they represent??????

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago


Posted by Vince McEveety (Gilleran Griffin Realty) over 10 years ago

We can't let the tail wag the dog these days. I give the A-Board a thumbs up.

Posted by Kate Kate over 10 years ago


Me too!




I half expected to see another comment by you with that photo of you toting that big ole shotgun!


C'mon down, and Ginny and I will join you!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago


Here's the latest from Oro Valley's website:

Council Approves Temporary Sign Relief
July 22, 2010 - The Oro Valley Town Council voted on Wednesday to institute temporary relief on the Town’s sign code to help businesses during the economic recession...

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago


Why is it temporary???  What law gives the council the power to restrict advertising in a way that they KNOW will harm a specific business or a class of businesses???  I'M OUTRAGED. 

Clearly, when the vote for temporary relief DURING THE ECONOMIC RECESSION. . . .  reveals that the council KNOWS that the law harms a business can they deliberately have a law that specifically . . . . .  GEEZ!  I'm rambling. 

Vote them OUT!  Vote them OUT and let them know that they are being voted OUT because they abused their position and power to try to put a lawful business out of business. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Mike - What were these council members thinking - only a temporary relief.  Do they think the recession will be over in six month? - I don't think so.


Posted by Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale (Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Gilbert AZ passed a new sign code allowing A Frame signs. You may want to check that out

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago


I certainly will; thanks for mentioning it.


The idea is that they will get feedback during that period. Looks like the feedback has already started here on Active Rain!


Thank you.  I'll google Naples, FL sign code and see what I can find.


I don't live in Oro Valley, but I certainly patronize businesses there.  Thanks for your comments!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Here in Oro Valley AZ we have a General Plan for the town that protects dark skies (we have observatories in the area) but it also states that business signage shall be for "identification purposes" only, and NOT for advertising. (???) They consider a-frames and neon window signs unacceptable...they wanted to limit clutter and avoid a "trashy" appeareance. The sign code was created to reflect the General Plan, period. The plan can and should be amended. Recently, we elected a new mayor and some new town council members, and they are all MUCH more proactive and business-savvy. They recognize that we cannot have our cake and eat it too: this town has no property tax and therefore relies exclusively on SALES TAX REVENUE generated by our local businesses. How can this town possibly survive in this economy and NOT be flexible in their approach to business? I agree that temporary relief from the code is not enough, but boy is it ever a positive sign and a great start towards changing things here. In the 12 years I have lived here, we have always had a reputation as being "anti-business". My husband and I are both business owners here and for the first time, we feel positive and encouraged by this latest turn of events. We and all local business owners are cheering on our new mayor and council and look forward to more positive changes to promote longevity for local businesses and to help ensure a healthy bottom line for the town.  

Posted by Bonnie Quinn over 10 years ago


Thanks for weighing in!  See you for a late breakfast at Down Home Delights!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago
Mike, we have 'sign police' here and were not allowed to use directional signs or any other signs on main roads to advertise Open Houses. Ridiculous! Finally it was repealed and we can put them out on the weekends. Good for Down Home Delights - I consider their sign a directional sign anyway and not advertising, since it lets people know they are in there!
Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 10 years ago


It is all about control, not common sense. If it works for people and it helps them in this economy, and they are not a danger to others, let them do what business dictates

Micro-legislation is a problem

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 10 years ago


The problem in Oro Valley is that it has an overall Master Plan, sort of like an HOA for an entire town.  That needs changing, and prospects are good, I think.


I'm sitting in the corner at Down Home Delights enjoying a mid-morning breakfast and blogging (they have free Wi-Fi.)  The Apricot Scone is scrumptious!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Mike - I had a coffee shop once and the city code enforcers were always either taking my signs or coming in and telling me I had to remove them - after 2 years I had to close the doors and I believe that the signage problem was part of it! GREAT post!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Barbara Jo,

Bonnie Quinn just read your comment over my shoulder.  She sent a link to this blog post to John C Scott, a local radio personality who has a Radio Show in Tucson.  She's going to be interviewed on the John C Scott Show on Wednesday, July 28th, at 3:40 p.m.  Isn't Active Rain the Bomb?!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Congrats on the Gold Mike and let's keep this post alive with another feature at one of my favorite groups ...


Vegas Bob

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 10 years ago

This A-frame sign thing seems to be an issue in lots of places.  I agree that small business needs them to help people find them.  Maybe rather than ban them, set up some basic guidelines to keep them simple and clean.  I believe some towns that allow them have rules like they have to be put away when the business closes.  That is not unreasonable.  

Glad to see the Oro Valley is at least looking at it with an open mind.  

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 10 years ago

Good post!    Sometimes those rules can be outgrown, without anyone "noticing"....a proactive person, and glad that it worked out in the favour of the business.   

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) over 10 years ago

Mike, great post, and agree with Lenn...except I don't have a gun :)

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate over 10 years ago

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