Huge signs proposed for Hanover business along I-95

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - You could soon see more commercial signs when driving along the interstates through Hanover County.  The Board of Supervisors is considering a change that would allow some developments to put up signs you could see from I-95.

The owners of the development off of exit 89 on Interstate 95 in Hanover are the ones asking for this sign change. Winding Brook is already home to Bass Pro Shops and we will likely see more development here in the near future.

Karl Uftring knows big signs.  As part owner of Image Works in Ashland, he's very familiar with the size of sign Hanover County leaders may let the owners of Winding Brook put up: 125 feet.

"We've done several for our national accounts across the country," he said.

Just to give you an idea of what we are talking about, this sign at Kings Dominion in Doswell is 125 feet tall, and we could see it from about a mile away as we came up the interstate.

"They got special permission to do a sign that big, and I'm sure if you asked, they would tell you that it's vital to their success," Uftring said.

Uftring presents research to his clients about the effectiveness of signs, which he shared with us.  One study shows that the right sign can increase a businesses' revenue by 15 to 20 percent, which is why the county is considering this change to help the economy.

"We look forward in these tough economic times to help them anyway we can; at the same time, we want to make sure that we protect the citizens and their welfare and well being," said Hanover County Supervisor Ed Via.

That's why this ordinance would come with some serious restrictions, not the least of which is a 100-acre property requirement.

"It will only be areas along the I-95corridor; it's going to be limited the amount of light it can put out both day and night, so it won't be unlimited, and also the message on the sign will not scroll," Via said.

So here's what's next. There will be public hearing about this issue, then the planning commission will vote on it, and it will go to the board of supervisors for final approval. That means if we see a sign at all, it will likely be later this year or even next year.

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