March 15, 2004

The Albemarle County Architectural Review Board met on Monday, March 15, 2004, 1:30 p.m., Meeting Room # 241, County Office Building, Charlottesville, Virginia.  Those members present were Charles T. Lebo, Candace M.P. Smith, A.I.A., Chairman; and Katie Hobbs.  Absent was M. Kirk Train, AIA, Vice-Chairman.  Staff present was Margaret Maliszewski and Janet L. Miller. 


CALL TO ORDER: A quorum was established and Ms. Smith called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.




ARB-2004-11: Goodwill Industries Sign - Certificate of Appropriateness for a Sign - (Tax Map 078, Parcel 5F)


Proposal:  To install an internally illuminated channel letter wall sign and an internally illuminated freestanding sign.


Staff Presentation: Ms. Miller presented the staff report. She stated that the ARB reviewed and approved signage for Authorized Auto Service at this site in December 2001.The approval was for a cabinet sign and internally illuminated red channel letters for the front of the building. The red channel letters were approved at a height of 24”.  The cabinet sign was approved with a 4’ wide metal base and a panel measuring 5’ high by 10’ wide with red lettering on an opaque light brown background. She indicated that the existing Authorized Auto Service freestanding sign is nonconforming in height (14’) and area (50 SF) and is located off-site. 


A new freestanding pole sign is proposed to be installed in the same location (in the parking area, west of the building) as that of the existing sign. Because the proposed base of the sign will utilize an existing pole, the sign does not require a special use permit for an off-site location. The proposed sign is a double-sided, internally illuminated aluminum cabinet on a skirted pole. The proposed area and height of the sign have been reduced by 25%, thus bringing the sign area and height into conformity. Illuminated channel letters are proposed for the front (south) side of the building.


Mr. Lebo asked for clarification regarding the fact that the proposed channel letter wall sign meets the Zoning Ordinance requirements, but its appearance is too large in height, width, or both. Ms. Miller clarified that the channel letters overwhelm the area of the building where the sign would be installed. Staff feels that the appropriate size for the channel letters would be 24” in height. 


Applicant Presentation:

Kirtis Webb, owner of Bruce Sign Company of Lynchburg, stated that he represented Goodwill Industries.  He stated that the freestanding sign has been reduced in size from 50 square feet to 32 square feet and in height to 12 feet, which made the sign in conformity with the Zoning Ordinance. The current sign is 15 feet to the top. He indicated that the sign had already been made, but not installed.


Ms. Smith asked if they could make the base of the freestanding sign wider so that the top would appear so out of proportion. Mr. Webb stated that they made the base so that it would not look too overpowering. He questioned what they would be accomplishing by making the base wider. He pointed out that it was 2’ and he was making a wide base, which would be 2’ thick also. He noted that there was nothing skimpy about this pole skirt, particularly because the pole was only about 2 inches. He pointed out that the letters would be very beautiful. 


Mr. Lebo pointed out that this building was very close to the highway and the proposed letters for the wall sign were too large. He supported the letters being trimmed down to the size recommended by staff. Ms. Hobbs agreed with staff’s recommendations. She agreed with using the green, and the brown for the background of the freestanding sign, as originally approved. 


Ms. Smith stated that one of the issues was color. Previously the red letters were approved for the building whose colors were tans, whites and greens. She stated that the blue color was fine as long as that single color was used on all of the signs. She suggested that the returns and the end caps match the blue channel letters or be bronze, but not gold.  She suggested that the channel letters be compressed.


Motion:  Mr. Lebo moved for approval of the proposal, pending staff administrative approval of the following conditions:

Freestanding Sign

1.       The freestanding sign shall have blue text.

2.       The freestanding sign shall have a light brown opaque background that coordinates with the color of the building.

3.       The base shall be widened to 4’ minimum width.

Wall Sign

1.       The channel letters shall have blue faces, with bronze trim caps and returns.

2.       The channel letters shall not exceed 24” in height.

Ms. Hobbs seconded the motion.

The motion carried (3:0).  (Train – Absent)


Go to Attachment C - ARB staff report

Return to executive summary