Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sign Rule Oversight Looks to Tighten Up; Architectural Review Panel Is Considering Changes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sign Rule Oversight Looks to Tighten Up; Architectural Review Panel Is Considering Changes

Article excerpt

Byline: Christina Abel

PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- From size and color to types of signs and wording, the Ponte Vedra Architectural Review Committee is holding workshops to possibly add rules and restrictions for the business signs allowable in Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley.

The ARC, a five-member group that reviews any type of exterior building renovation in Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley, including landscaping, fences and signs, discussed potential sign restrictions at its monthly meeting last week. The committee limits the size, installation methods and colors of signs, but could branch out to restrict what's written on the signs as well.

"We have the right to be more stringent," said Committee Chairman Mike Koppenhafer.

Until the rules, or land amendment code, is changed, however, the decisions the ARC makes at its monthly meeting are somewhat subjective.

Shelly Dunne, director of the Kumon Math and Reading Center franchise in the Winn-Dixie shopping center at Florida A1A and Solana Road, found this out the hard way. After relocating her business in July, Dunne has gone before the ARC twice, only to have her sign altered so that it didn't agree with any of the three options offered by Kumon, which has franchises throughout the United States.

While Kumon has about 1,700 locations across the county, Dunne said she had never heard of a location being denied all three sign options. The signs feature the company name, Kumon, with individually-mounted letters with a face drawn in the O, and, in a box below, the words "Math. Reading. Success."

The words, which Dunne wants illuminated in the box, are part of the problem.

Although the ARC doesn't restrict box signs, it rarely permits them, said County Planner Shane Largent, who is a liaison for the committee.

"In the past, signs like that have been approved; now they are trying to not approve any box signs," Largent said.

The ARC voted to allow the words below the Kumon name, but they have to be individually mounted letters, which are too small to illuminate at a reasonable cost, Largent said.

Dunne said having the words illuminated is essential because many people don't know what Kumon is and the point of moving her business was to create more visibility. …

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