PC proposes allowing sandwich signs, prohibiting feather signs

Planning Commissioners recommend allowing sandwich board signs in town.

BLYTHEWOOD – The prohibition of sandwich board signs in the town has long been the bane of many shop owners in Blythewood. Those days may be over if a recommendation made to Town Council last week by the Planning Commission comes to fruition.

At the June 3 Planning Commission meeting, Town Administrator Brian Cook proposed an amendment to the current sign ordinance for options that would allow all the town’s businesses to advertise with sandwich boards so long as the signs meet certain size requirements and are set up and taken down at specified times.

The signs can be any A-frame sign consisting of two boards hinged at the top hanging back to back.

Sandwich board sign regulations were added under a section for exempt signs. One sandwich board sign can be permitted to an onsite commercial owner/operator only during the hours when the establishment is open. The sign can be no larger than three feet tall and two feet wide, with a maximum of two sign faces.

Town’s PC recommends prohibiting feather flags.

Cook said the town can remove any sign that causes interference with vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or in the event of any emergency situation, or that interferes with any work that is to be performed on the public sidewalk and/or right-of-way by or on behalf of the town.

In all instances, the amendment specifies that the sign shall be placed on the business’ lot, at least five feet outside of right of way, shall be constructed of a material and weight to ensure general stability and shall not block visibility.

While sandwich signs are currently prohibited, many businesses such as Bloomin’ Bean Coffee Bar and others have set them out for the last few years with little interference from Town Hall.

That’s not to say that a business can stake out other types of signs in front of the business.

Cook clarified that feather flags, which have been popping up around town the last couple of years, are prohibited under the amendment.

Other prohibited signs, according to the proposed ordinance, include “any sign (other than a government sign), banner, feather flag, festoon, or display placed on any curb, sidewalk (except where otherwise permitted in this subchapter), post, pole, hydrant, bridge, tree or other surface located on, over or across any public street or right-of-way, or any banner, placed on stakes on a property, unless a permitted temporary or grand opening banner, otherwise permitted.

The proposed sign amendment was approved unanimously and will now move to Town Council for the first of two votes on June. 24 at The Manor.