By Susan Dickson
CARRBORO â€“Â Carrboro could start to see some differences in signage around town should the board of aldermen approve an ordinance change considered at their Tuesday night meeting.
Commercial signs are currently limited by the amount of linear street frontage of a building. The issue stems from a request by the developers of the 300 East Main project, who requested more signage than the ordinance allows, given the scale of the development, which includes the redevelopment of properties extending from the intersection of Main and Boyd streets near Nice Price Books to the present municipal parking lot on the corner of Main and Roberson streets. Developers also asked for an upper-floor sign for the projectâ€™s hotel.
Laura Van Sant of Main Street Properties said the current regulations would limit signage such that it would be difficult for people to find the projectâ€™s hotel and parking deck.
Developers recently broke ground on the first phase of the project, which includes a 142-room Hampton Inn and Suites and a 500-space, six-level parking deck. The hotel building will include 18,100 square feet of retail/restaurant space on the ground floor, room for six to nine tenants. Van Sant said Main Street Properties would like to have 24 square feet of signage for each tenant, as well as a sign for the hotel and parking deck.
â€œWeâ€™re not trying to clutter up Carrboro with signs that arenâ€™t already there,â€ she said, pointing out signs around town that are 24 square feet or larger. â€œWe just want to give our retailers a chance to be seen.â€
Board member Jacquie Gist said she wanted to proceed with caution regarding the hotel sign, which she worried would be too prominent.
â€œWe have other needs to consider other than the hotelâ€™s needs,â€ she said. â€œWe have the needs of the rest of the community. So I think the board needs to take a very long look at this.â€
The board voted to set a public hearing for June 26 on a change to the townâ€™s Land Use Ordinance that would allow for development signage to be considered as part of a projectâ€™s conditional-use permit, allowing projects to deviate from limitations spelled out in the ordinance.