Signage Quick Hit: Exterior Signage Regulations Debate for Small Town
We thought signage professionals and architects who read this blog might want to take a look at a story about a town council and architectural review board discussing changes to the current exterior signage regulations. This time, it’s in Virginia’s Potomac region in a town called Occoquan. The article titled, “Occoquan Proposes New Signage Rules,” on potomaclocal.com does a nice job of summarizing the concerns of the citizens, the architectural review board, and the local council.
The issue is about expanding the current exterior signage regulations to allow more exterior signage for local businesses and shops and what qualifies as a sign. The concerns about expanding the regulations are valid. No one wants to see a quaint business and shopping district become “over-signed” or become an eyesore due to one shop making a choice to put a bright flashing neon sign or gigantic flagpole banner. Those types of signs work great in the right areas and the right cities, but as you will see, this town and business district is choosing to follow the traditional New England wooden sign model, and we believe an expansion will work if they stay close to the current design standards.
That would be our recommendation to the council: allow more exterior signage, but enforce the design standards to ensure things don’t get out of hand.
Here are some excerpts from the article, but be sure to click this link to read the complete article and judge for yourself:
“Under the newly proposed rules, businesses can use up to four signs whether they be flags with logos or regular signs in any combination they choose. They’ll also be able to use up to two portable A-frame chalkboard signs outside their shops. The proposed changes are a departure from the past when businesses weren’t even allowed to hang flags outside their businesses. “I support the town council’s proposal on this, and I think they’ve come up with a more liberal proposal than what the Architectural Review Board had come up with,” said Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta. When the frenzy over signage in the town erupted this spring, the review board partnered was commissioned and it partnered with members of the business community to come up with signage recommendations. Unlike the proposal put forth by the Town Council, the ARB recommendations limited businesses to either using a flag or a sign, and classified flags as decorative flags or logo-ed flags.”