Main Street awning setback proposal to go to public hearing

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Sep 11, 2013 - 12:40 PM

The Gloucester County Planning Commission has voted 9-2 to send a code amendment addressing awnings and sign projections along Main Street to a public hearing Oct. 3.

During a meeting last Thursday night in the colonial courthouse, commission members Christopher Poulson and Michael R. Winebarger opposed setting the hearing. Members Louis W. Serio Jr. and Dr. W. Keith Belvin were absent.

Planning director Anne Ducey-Ortiz said what triggered the discussion about awnings was Rodney Hockaday’s filing an application several months ago to install an awning at the Buttons & Bows store on Main Street. However, the application was denied, she said, based on the inability to meet the minimum five-foot setback.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, Ducey-Ortiz said, even if the county permitted the awning, a permit from VDOT would not be issued to allow encroachment into the right-of-way. She said Buttons & Bows, which is now advertising that it is closing, is located one foot from the VDOT right-of-way and the awning would encroach two feet into that right-of-way.

The code amendment would affect about 20 businesses along Main Street, Ducey-Ortiz said, all of which were here prior to the county’s zoning ordinance being instituted.