NEW INFO: Project to Preserve Historic Signs Approved in Charleston

UPDATE 7/25/13 @ 9 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- City leaders give the go ahead to preserve some of Charleston's history.

Representatives from three longtime businesses in Charleston attended the city's Board of Zoning meeting Thursday to ask for a waiver to update their business signs.

Firestone, Fountain Hobby Center and Budget Records all are making plans to refurbish their signs. However, until Thursday's meeting a city zoning ordinance would not allow the signs to be taken down and put back up.

The ordinance only allows businesses in that part of town to have one sign per business, per building frontage. This ordinance has been adopted since 1983.

The board gave Firestone and Fountain Hobby Center approval to refurbish their historical signs and put them all back up.

Board members approved the projects because of the community support for the project and the importance of preserving some of the city's history.

Firestone has been operating its business on the east end since 1928. In fact, this Charleston Firestone location is the longest standing Firestone in the company, according to a company official.

This is just the first step in a push to preserve Charleston's history.

Dan Vriendt, Director of Planning and Zoning with the city of Charleston, tells WSAZ.com the city has been in talks with the West Side Main Street Association to see if an amendment could be added to the ordinance to encourage and maintain historic signs in the city.

The board tabled Budget Tapes' request. It will be taken back up at the next meeting.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A longtime business in the city of Charleston is looking to update its signs, but it will need the city's approval before any work can be done.

Firestone has been operating its business on the east end since 1928. In fact, this Charleston Firestone location is the longest standing Firestone in the company, according to a company official.

According to a manager at the Charleston location, the signs on the building need refurbished because they no longer light up. However, a city ordinance is making the project a little more difficult.

Under a zoning ordinance, businesses in that part of town can only have one sign per business, per building frontage. This ordinance has been adopted since 1983.

The company hired by Firestone to do the work on the signs has applied for a waiver to remove, refurbish and replace the existing signs at 817 Washington Street east location.

Reaford Walker is expected to go before the Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals on July 25 at 8:30 a.m. to ask for the waiver.

Meanwhile, a group has launched a website in support of the project and asking the city to approve the variance the company needs to update the signs.

Firestone is not the only Charleston business hoping to refurbish a piece of history. Fountain Hobby Center on Washington Street west is also expected to ask for a similar variance during the July 25 meeting.

Dan Vriendt, Director of Planning and Zoning with the city of Charleston, tells WSAZ.com the city has been in talks with the West Side Main Street Association to see if an amendment could be added to the ordinance to encourage and maintain historic signs in the city.


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