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Proposal to relax sign restrictions gets hearing next week in King George

Planning Commission to scrutinize sign amendments Tuesday, May 10

The King George Planning Commission will consider changes to sign regulations that would provide more flexibility for developers. Amendments were proposed by county staff at the request of the Board of Supervisors.

A public hearing is scheduled next week on Tuesday, May 10, to take comment on relaxing current restrictions on retail and commercial businesses and subdivisions.

The Planning Commission got its first look at the suggested changes at last month’s meeting and not all members were enthusiastic.

 

 



According to a thumbnail provided in a staff report by Director Jack Green of the county’s Community Development department, the proposal, if approved, would amend the King George County Zoning Ordinance, Section 3.11 to do the following:
~ Remove restriction to the number of wall signs allowed for each business; but limit the maximum size of any single wall sign (retains limit based on linear frontage of building).
~ Allow banners when attached to the building.
~ Allow electronic signage.
~ Create the list of exempt type of signs for those that do require any permits.
~ Allow increased temporary freestanding signs for new businesses.
~ Allow subdivisions to have signage on both sides of an entrance (currently only allowed on one side).

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS FROM FIRST LOOK
Most of the nine commissioners present at the April meeting last month took a wait-and-see attitude for the full staff report coming this month. But a couple members cautioned against going too far with changes.

Commissioner Bill Robie stated, “This  county is at a crossroads where we have to decide whether this strip along US301 will continue to have the country ambiance.”

Green, in fact, encouraged commissioners to take a close look at the proposed amendments coming up for review and a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors.

Green noted that the governing body had asked that some changes come forward that would make the county more “business friendly.”

Robie stated, “The most compelling thing to make a place business friendly is whether they are turning a good profit.” He added, “This is something that we should very carefully consider.”
Gary Kendrick said, “I have a desire to be business-friendly and would like to get more retail business here, but don’t want to come over the bridge have it look like the Las Vegas strip.”

Robie commented, “My concern is the banners and the electronic signs, which can be very distracting.” He also said he had concern about allowing signs on both sides of entrances to subdivisions, instead of a single sign, as currently.

The existing county sign regulations were adopted in 1999 as part of the King George County Zoning Ordinance.  In 2009, Supervisors requested that the sign regulations be reviewed with an eye toward revision.

The sign regulation amendments can be viewed at the office of Community Development located on the ground floor of the Revercomb Administration building, which is behind the courthouse.

 

- Phyllis Cook

 



 

 

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