Appeals board approves oversized sign for convenience store along U.S. 1

March 10, 1997|By Dilshad Husain | Dilshad Husain,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Howard County Board of Appeals last week approved a petition from Royal Farm Stores to have a sign larger than allowed by county regulations at its gasoline station and convenience store at Guilford Road and U.S. 1.

The board approved the sign by a 3-1 vote. At 22 1/2 feet high and 47 1/2 square feet, the sign, which is in place, is 2 1/2 feet taller and 7 1/2 square feet larger than permitted.

Board member Jerry Rushing cast the dissenting vote on the petition, saying that Royal Farm created its own need for a large sign by the design and location it chose.

But Tom Meachum, an attorney for Royal Farm, said large trees south of the station made the sign necessary.

"The gas station's sign is barely above the trees, and the trees will keep growing. We had to make the sign bigger," Meachum said.

Other board members acknowledged the need for an oversized sign for the sake of safety because it will allow motorists traveling at the 50 mph speed limit along U.S. 1 to read gasoline prices. The board had approved larger signs at the Amoco and Crown gas stations in the same area.

Board members said Royal Farm's placement of the sign before board approval was not a factor in their decision.

"It was a matter of miscommunication between Royal Farms and the sign company that resulted in the sign being put up before we got permission," Meachum said.

Pub Date: 3/10/97

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