The Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors wants to clear the county of the persistent “popsicle signs” that violate county code and clutter roadsides.
County staff told supervisors at Thursday’s meeting that complaints about the signs, which line roadsides and medians, have spiked this year. There have been 12 so far, more than the eight from the previous three years combined.
The county ordinance allows business signs but prohibits advertising signs in the public right of way. There is an exception that allows those signs to be erected from noon on Fridays to noon on Mondays.
Many of the prohibited signs remain in place unless removed by the county. And after they are removed, more soon appear.
Often, the people who stick the signs along the roads can’t be reached, Zoning Administrator Kimberly Pomatto told the supervisors. She said Fredericksburg and Caroline and Stafford counties don’t allow the signs in the right of way.
Several supervisors said they want to get rid of the signs and asked staff to write an amendment repealing the exemptions.
Supervisor Kevin Marshall cited massage and mattress signs among many others cluttering roadsides that violate the county ordinance.
“They’re taking advantage of the ordinance,” he said.
Supervisor Gary Skinner also wants to see the signs go. He added that restrictions should be placed on banners, which are bigger than the so-called popsicle signs, limiting how long they can be used.
Supervisor Chris Yakabouski also supports removing the signs, but wants the county to make sure to avoid impacting businesses that follow the ordinance.
Also on Thursday, supervisors endorsed a list of legislative goals for the county and heard a staff presentation concerning possible changes to zoning that allows subdividing property for family members.
The zoning for family subdivisions includes a 10-lot cap, and the supervisors seemed to favor lifting it. The zoning would include a hold to keep the owner from selling the property. That hold period likely will be 10 years.
Staff will write up an amendment for the board to consider. A public hearing would be held before any changes are made.
Assistant County Administrator Mark Cole, also the state delegate for the 88th District, highlighted a list of the county’s top concerns for the upcoming legislative session.
The list included 17 goals, such as improving rural roads, expanding broadband, Interstate 95 improvements, drone use regulations, more funding for school resource officers and more money for algae bloom testing in Lake Anna.
Another item among the list of 17 is supporting an extension to the five-year concealed handgun permit term.
Supervisor Marshall added another item to the list, which the board approved (Supervisor David Ross was not present). It expresses the board’s support for the Second Amendment and its desire that the General Assembly not invoke any restrictions on a person’s right to bear arms.