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Rockland tells Burger King to remove, cover sign

By Stephen Betts | Apr 11, 2021
Photo by: Stephen Betts The city has directed the owner of the former Burger King restaurant in Rockland to remove its signs.

Rockland — The city has directed Burger King to either remove or cover its signs.

The code enforcement office sent out a notice to the property owner this past week about the need to take down the sign.

A city ordinance requires signs to be removed within 90 days from when a business closes. The law does not detail why signs are not allowed after closure.

The restaurant closed Dec. 27, 2020.

The owners of the property are Victor and Ruth Salemme of Houston, Texas. They were leasing the building to Steven Wegner of Orono, who owned several Burger King franchises in Maine.

Rockland Code Enforcement Officer Adam Ackor said the notice to remove the sign was sent to an attorney, who represents a finance company overseeing the assets.

The restaurant was built in 1977 at 49 Camden St. on a lot where an apartment building was located. The city has the property assessed at $904,000.

A proposal to build a new Burger King on the same site — and tear down the existing one — was reviewed by the Rockland Planning Board in 2008, but the project did not go forward.

This issue of sign removal for a closed business also came about in 2008 when the city code officer issued a notice of violation to the Island Institute for not removing the Senter Crane sign from its downtown brick building. The sign was removed.

Senter Crane operated as a department store at 386 Main St. from 1926 until it closed in 1994.

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Comments (8)
Posted by: Deborah Clarisse Morrison | Apr 23, 2021 07:44

I think I'll go buy a new shirt at Gregory's.  Darn, I guess they closed a few months ago...No, I remember now, more like 20 years ago.  I still like to see their sign though, they were very nice people and it reminds me of better times.  I wish the Senter Cranes sign was still there too.  When you look at old pictures of Main street, you look at the signs right?  It's not the grand architecture, it's the people and their businesses that trigger the memories.

Posted by: THOMAS MARSHALL, JR | Apr 12, 2021 18:37

We should change the Land Ordinance to limit all freestanding roadside signs to a 6’ height. Tall pedestal signs create visual clutter.  Tombstone signs are more than adequate and with smartphone apps directing drivers every foot, there is no reason for a community to be plagued with gas prices, donuts, burger ads blanketing out the sky.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Apr 12, 2021 07:33

It is misleading to keep the sign up.  The code enforcement officer is only doing his job.  Summer is coming and many will think that they are open because the sign is still up.  Not a "busy-body law" at all.

Posted by: Gregory D Kibitz | Apr 11, 2021 23:16

Nobody made "another stupid law." Code enforcement is simply enforcing a law already in on the books.


Huge difference, and generally consistent with what most conservatives say, to just enforce all the laws we already have, rather than making new ones.

Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Apr 11, 2021 17:57

You must have been listening to the radio with the song blasting by Joni Mitchell  "Circle Game."

YouTube Joni Mitchell "Circle Game"


Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Apr 11, 2021 11:47

My comment was written by Marjorie Kinney.  Not Sumner Kinney.

Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Apr 11, 2021 11:44

Typical busy-body law!  Yes, it would be nice to let people know that they are no longer there but is it harmful enough to make another stupid law?

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Apr 11, 2021 10:31

A good idea. I sat at the drive-thru for 45 minutes yesterday trying to order my Whopper meal with my coupon.

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