Final approval of Grand Park sign plan expected in January
November 19, 2009
The Fraser Board of Trustees tabled until Jan. 6 final approval of the first amendment to the Grand Park Master Sign Plan after two hours of debate Wednesday, Nov. 18,.
“A fresh start for a new year,” said developer Clark Lipscomb, expressing hope that this process may come to an end after more than 12 months of tweaking and wrenching.
In this latest draft dealing with signage for 70 acres of proposed mixed-use development, Lipscomb made some concessions and held the line on other issues.
The most significant outcome of Wednesday’s meeting was the board’s thumbs-up, 4-2 approval of a 3:1 sign-to-storefront ratio. Only Mayor Fran Cook and Trustee Scotty Brent said the ratio was too high.
The proposed language permits a total of three square feet of signage for every linear foot of store-frontage, to be divided between a minimum of two signs. It eliminates separate allowances for second-story businesses and requires all sign types, whether on or off site, to be calculated into the total allowable square footage.
Lipscomb also proffered to limit the entire development to eight freestanding and/or monument signs along U.S. Highway 40. He stated that the Fraser Sign Code allows a lot more.
Fueling community opposition to signs along the highway are four billboards Limpscomb erected there several years ago advertising Grand Park. These fall under the development’s original master sign plan, said town Planner Catherine Trotter. This type of sign is meant to be temporary and is supposed to be removed after 24 months, she added. The board, however, gave staff no direction Wednesday night about following up on the legal status of the billboards.
Major sticking points still include: Setting maximum sign square footages; allowing signs along U.S. Hwy 40; allowing off-premise, freestanding signs within the development; and; opening the document for period review.
“Clark’s made some concessions,” Trotter said in a follow-up conversation. “But, we’re both going to have to come together a little more to get this done.”