Sign for Brightmoor's beloved Scotty Simpson's Fish restaurant leads to blight violation from Detroit

A well-known restaurant's sign in Brightmoor received a blight citation from the city of Detroit over a permit issue.

Harry Barber owns Scotty Simpson's Fish and Chips, a staple in the neighborhood since 1950, and a parking lot near his neighbor's building, so he got permission from the neighbor to paint a sign letting people know the lot is for the fish restaurant.

"The problem with my sign across the street - I guess they looked it up and said no permit," Barber said.

The building owner was issued a violation, and Barber said the fines were up to almost $900.

It's a violation he feels is unfair in a neighborhood that has a bad blight problem due to trash and unkept vacant properties.

"You'll drive down the streets, and you'll see six or eight houses, and you'll go ‘wow, this is gorgeous,’ and then the next half block is blight," Barber said.

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John George, with Detroit Blight Busters, said a warning is a better way to handle an issue like the sign.

"Rules and regulations haven't been enforced for a long time," he said.

After speaking with Barber about the violation, the city issued a statement saying they will be canceling the violation. However, the building owner may not receive a permit for the sign, meaning that it would have to come down:

"The ticket is being canceled. We would like to sit down with the business owner to discuss the situation and find a resolution… Because the business owner has a sign on his building for somebody else's business, this is considered to be advertising, and we cannot guarantee he will receive a permit due to these circumstances."