Chesterfield to update electronic sign policy

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Chesterfield is on the verge of a change to help county that would make electronic signs a possibility in villages like Chester.

On one end, you've got businesses that are desperate for new customers. But on the other, people who want to keep the integrity of those historic parts of Chesterfield.

"It just might be a little distracting and I don't know, just not that community spirit and that community old-town feel Chester was going for," Mary Jo Brunner said.

For more than a year, Chesterfield's Planning Commission has been hearing people worried about electronic signs taking over their community.

"Technology is great. But it can also really be distracting," Mary Jo said.

Currently, there are 19 electronic signs throughout Chesterfield. County planners say that's a pretty small number given the size of the county. But 5-6 electronic signs have already been approved and will be adding to that number.

Tashan Duff says bring on more electronic signs.

"As it gets more advanced and more technology comes in, and it's just adapting to the new times," Duff said.

He doesn't think lighted messages advertising "great deals" or "business hours" are distracting to drivers.

"Like local businesses, small merchants, mom and pop stores they can really benefit from stuff like this," he said.

Dario Amato is ready to reap the benefits. If the policy change is approved, his business, "Sapori", that's tucked inside Chester Village Green, would finally get some exposure on Route 10.

"We just opened up in April. So we're brand-new and we're trying to get the word out that we're here," Amato said. "I think if [the signs are] tastefully done they could add to Chester."

Mark your calendars. Tuesday afternoon, the planning commission set a public hearing to discuss the electronic sign policy. It will be at 6 p.m. on June 21st.

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