Controversy spotlights LED signs in Chesterfield

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Controversy's brewing in Chesterfield with the spotlight on LED signs. Businesses see their potential while residents only see safety issues.

From fitness club memberships to church services, LED signs are lighting up information along Chesterfield County highways.

But the way it works right now, "These can be approved by conditional use that conditional use cost $4,000 minimum," said Greg Allen with Chesterfield County's Planning Department.

Is much different from the way it could be.

"Which basically someone files a sign permit for $100 and basically in a day gets their permit and they can build it," according to Allen.

"So we've been working roughly on this for 8 months," said Allen.

But a citizen advisement committee and businesses can't meet eye to eye just yet.

"There's plenty of signs. I'm concerned about motorist safety, the appearance of the county, unnecessary clutter and excessive signage," said Paul Grasewicz, Citizen Advisement Comment.

"Obviously all businesses are struggling right now and the thing that we need to have happen is we need every available opportunity to be able to advertise our businesses as effectively as possible," said Bob Schrum, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Both citizens and businesses say approving the ordinance comes down to time.

"The recommendation is 3 minutes per message. It seems like a very long time. The businesses want it to be 4-10 seconds. So that you as a motorist driving by will see the message," said Allen.

But until each "I" is dotted and every "T" crossed, the verdicts still out if more of these will be welcoming you to Chesterfield.

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