Changes are coming to the rules that regulate signs in Arlington. The county held a workshop at Washington-Lee High School last night to gather community input on reworking the current sign ordinance.
Many business owners believe the current rules are restrictive and confusing. County Board Chair Chris Zimmerman agrees. He says the ordinance is too stringent and focuses on the wrong things.
The board “can be little more liberal in our approach” to signs, Zimmerman said.
Right now, the county is still in the information gathering process. Staff members believe Tuesday’s meeting was productive in coming up with ideas for improvement, and are impressed with the turnout of around 50 people.
“There are a number of different goals to balance, but the feedback will definitely help to develop the ordinance,” said county planner Deborah Albert.
Business owners presented a variety of examples illustrating how the current rules hurt them. Some cited an inability to draw in customers without proper signage. Others claim developers seek out other areas to build once they hear of the regulations. Many said it simply detracts from their efforts at branding.
“Businesses need every advantage possible in these tough economic times,” said David Hickey, government relations director at the Alexandria-based International Sign Association. “Visible and well-placed signs are one of the best ways to achieve that.”
Many in attendance voiced concerns over the broad definition of what constitutes a sign. Umbrellas, awnings, certain types of lighting and murals all count, and take away from each business’ allotted sign square footage.
Kim Houghton, who owns the Wag More Dogs doggie daycare in Shirlington, believes she has been bitten by the rules. She went so far as to sue the county over a mural of cartoon dogs on the side of her building. She considers it art, but Arlington County considers it a sign for her business and forced her to cover it up.
“I wanted to see what actions the county is taking on rewriting and reworking the sign ordinance,” she said. From listening to others at the event, Houghton came to the conclusion that “the consensus is that the definition of a sign is too broad.”
A few citizens are calling for less stringent regulations on signs relating to civic events. There are concerns that balloons for events like birthday parties and church functions violate the ordinance, as do posters for sporting events or neighborhood festivals. Those residents suggested improving the process for identifying and certifying small community events.
There were also grumblings about inconsistent enforcement of the current rules, and the need to remedy that problem before going forward with new ones. In January, the County Board passed an amendment giving it more authority to crack down on sign ordinance offenders, but some believe enforcement still lags.
Several attendees noted the ordinance, which was last revamped in 1990, started off with good intentions but simply has gone too far. They assert that colorful, iconic signs, including those considered art, add to a neighborhood and give citizens a sense of community. They say the current restrictions stunt Arlington’s progress by stripping it of character, and preventing it from evolving like other communities. A few citizens suggested re-examining the ordinance every few years and updating it as the community changes.
Arlington County will develop and review recommendations for changes to the sign ordinance throughout the summer, and hopes to have the updates hammered out by this fall.
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve