EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSZoning Laws Put Iconic Charleston Signs In Jeopardy
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Taisha Walker
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 24, 2013 1:03 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 24, 2013 1:32 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Three of Charleston's most iconic signs are in jeopardy due to zoning regulations.
Signs outside the Firestone Tire store on Washington Street, Budget Tapes & Records on MacCorkle Avenue and Fountain Hobby store on Washington Street have graced the streets of Charleston for nearly 50 years. They are all in dire need of restoration, but several businesses owners fear current zoning laws could get rid of those iconic signs if they are updated.
The stores' business owners plan to argue that their signs are historic and should be preserved. Two of the three owners plan to go before a zoning board Thursday morning with their oral arguments. They said they would like to spruce up the city by restoring the vintage signs, but they fear zoning board members will get rid of the signs if they are too big or tall to meet present zoning standards.
Stephanie Johnson, executive director of West Side Main Street, said she is optimistic the Fountain Hobby sign, as well as the others, will be restored.
"We are really excited to have an opportunity to get this sign restored," Johnson said. "It really means a lot to the community. This business has been around for many decades, and it plays a really big role in the lives of many Charleston residents."
Current zoning laws state if you take one of those signs downs, even for repairs, they cannot go back up without a variance from the board of zoning appeals.
The zoning meeting will take place Thursday in the conference room of the the City Service Center starting at 8:30 a.m.
Priscilla Pope, co-owner of Budget Tapes & Records, said she does not plan to attend Thursday's meeting. She plans to meet with the board Aug. 22 to present a different design.
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