A Lee’s Summit business is rallying support for a landmark “Pappi’s Pizza” sign that’s been in place for four decades. The city is demanding it be torn down.
Ownership of the former Pappi’s Pizza building at 405 N.W. Blue Parkway changed in May, and the new owner has moved a locally-owned Fun House Pizza from Douglas Street to the Blue Parkway location.
Owner Jim Dingman said the Blue Parkway site had opened as a Fun House originally in 1972, run by owners who had started their first shop in Raytown. Its name changed to Pappi’s in early 1973, he said.
Dingman said he received a certified letter from the city ordering him to remove the pole sign, because regulations changed since it was erected and the property was under new ownership.
Dingman then put a question on Facebook asking if he should attempt to save the sign
“We think that the sign should be amended to Say FUN HOUSE PIZZA and left up. We think that since this Sign has been in the Lee’s Summit Skyline for 42 years it should fall under Historic Preservation.”
A wide majority of the first 500-plus commenters said keeping the sign was worth the fight.
Bob McKay, the city’s director of planning and codes enforcement, said that after Lee’s Summit banned pole signs, such signs have had to come down once ownership changed.
“We’ve been enforcing that all over the city,” he said, adding that his department would not support a variance.
But McKay said the department would reach out to the owner to discuss alternatives.
“There may be a way to use the same type of sign ... perhaps by bringing it lower,” McKay said. “If they want a nostalgic look that’s fine, as long as it’s in compliance.”