Seasonal inflatable decorations prohibited by municipal law for safety reasons

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF THE COLUMBIA WILLAMETTE - Different cities around the region allow Goodwill stores to display its Halloween spider. This one can be seen in Newberg. Every year as Halloween nears, certain traditions begin to creep in. Stores stock gluttonous amounts of candy, mothers begin stitching together creative costumes and Goodwill stores erect giant inflatable spiders on their buildings.

Unless you're in Sandy.

In accordance with Sandy's sign code, the Sandy Goodwill at 37151 Highway 26 took down its eerie arachnid soon after it was put up.

"We were asked to take it down last year per city rules," said Goodwill Public Relations Manager Dale Emanuel. "It does appear that the city of Sandy has a prohibition against 'attention-attracting devices;' though the language regarding prohibited signs is not especially specific as to what qualifies as an attention-attractive device."

"We really just want to keep serving Sandy," she added, noting that a Goodwill store has been part of the community since 1999.

A chapter of the sign code prohibits devices the city deems unsafe for drivers or distracting.

"If you're driving, (a giant inflatable spider) could be distracting," city Planning Director Kelly O'Neill Jr. told The Post. "It's attention attracting, and that's a violation of the sign code, but most importantly, it's a safety issue."

O'Neill added that the incident at Goodwill was not the only time the city sign code prevented a local business from putting up what is essentially a large balloon. There was also a request to install a 30-foot-tall, purple inflatable gorilla in July.

"Due to the recent decision around the spider, we told Johnson RV they couldn't have a giant gorilla," O'Neill explained. "We aren't picking on Goodwill. Goodwill has been a fantastic organization to work with. We're definitely not targeting certain businesses."

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