Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission


February 8, 2007


Staff Lead:


W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator


Community Development




A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Add Section 8-1501 to Allow Additional Signage for Commercial and Industrial Districts Utilizing Elements of Traditional or Neo-Traditional Design


Topic Description:

This proposed text amendment would allow additional signage, by Special Permit, in certain Commercial and Industrial Districts.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report: 

For several months, the Planning Commission has been considering ways to allow additional signage in certain Commercial and Industrial Districts utilizing elements of traditional or neo-traditional design. At present, Liberty Station and Bishop’s Run fall into this category.


A proposed text amendment came before the Planning Commission on September 28, 2006.  At that time, the Planning Commission elected to not initiate the text amendment.  Instead, the Planning Commission scheduled the text amendment for an October 16, 2006 work session. During the work session, the Planning Commission opined that this concept is best handled on a case-by-case review of  proposed developments.  Accordingly, staff was directed to prepare a text amendment where signage may be increased by special use permit in multiple use developments utilizing elements of traditional or neo-traditional design.  The authority to allow additional signage is broad. 

The attached text amendment was initiated by the Planning Commission on October 26, 2006. On November 30, 2006, by a vote of 4 to 0, the Planning Commission recommended adoption of the proposed ordinance. The amendment allows the amount, size, and type of signage in Commercial and Industrial Districts to be increased by special use permit in multiple use developments utilizing elements of traditional or neo-traditional design.  In issuing such permits, the decision maker is required to take into consideration the location of the development, site specific needs for such signage, surrounding uses, the Comprehensive Plan, and good zoning practices, provided, however, that the permitted signage not increase by more than 100%.

The Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on January 11, 2007.  After closing the public hearing, the Board of Supervisors continued this matter until the February meeting.

Members of the Board expressed concern about the application of the enhanced sign allotments to “developments utilizing elements of traditional or neo-traditional design”; they  thought the language too vague to be a useful tool.  Perhaps, the adoption of a definition of traditional or neo-traditional design would assist.  Toward this end, staff suggests the following: “TRADITIONAL/NEO-TRADITIONAL DESIGN:  A mixed use development that is pedestrian friendly, and builds upon urban design and architectural characteristics of small town Main Street.”

The amendment recommended by the Planning Commission allows a developer to increase the signage by up to one hundred percent.  Supervisor Stribling, who moved to continue this matter until the February meeting, wanted time to consider a proposal by Angler Development.  Under the Angler proposal, the one hundred percent cap on additional signage would be limited to building mounted signs, thus allowing a developer to seek additional free standing signs for his traditional or neo-traditional development.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Department of Economic Development

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