P&Z hearing on Route 7 Chevrolet dealership signs

On Monday, July 8, the Planing and Zoning Commission held a public hearing regarding an application by the SDP Sign Corporation on behalf of Wilton Buick-Chevrolet at 190 Danbury Road.

Tracy Becker, a representative of the National Sign Corporation, spoke on behalf of Chevrolet and Buick of Wilton in favor of placing five new signs on the car dealership’s property. The five signs would amount to a total of 86.2 square feet of branding signage. Additionally, the dealership plans to add 17.9 square feet of directional signage, signs that direct customers to areas like sales and maintenance.

The package would also include a 16-foot tall pylon sign to be placed on the road because “the owner believes the monument sign would be difficult to see from Route 7 now that it is four lanes,” Ms. Decker says.

“The information I have seems quite excessive for five signs, but I wanted to show every option, and to show that we really have compromised before submitting the application,” Ms. Becker said. “The package I’m presenting uses the smallest sizes allowed by General Motors, excepting the Chevrolet logo and ribbon, which are one size up.”

The existing signs at the dealership consist of one monument sign — a stone foundation with a sign near ground level — amounting to 27.3 square feet, and brand signage on the walls of the dealership amounting to 30 square feet.

The requested signage increase is necessary for the dealership to maintain General Motors branding, Ms. Decker said.

“I can understand why the pylon is preferred, as a business owner, because someone traveling on the other side of Route 7 might not be able to see a monument sign,” Chairman John Wilson said.

Town Planner Robert Nerney also noted, however, that the signage process is one that the commission should handle with some “give-and-take.” Because the dealership will be increasing its signage substantially, he said the town has a right to block the pylon sign.

“The give is that you have the right to allow more square footage of signs, but on the other side there are usually concessions [by the applicant] due to uniformity, or aesthetic issues that are otherwise not considered under the basic regulations,” he said.

Most commissioners agreed with the view that allowing the Chevrolet dealership to nearly double its exterior signage will have to be met with concessions by the applicant.

The commission also discussed whether the planned repainting of the Chevrolet building would be considered advertising — as it will be painted a distinct shade called Chevrolet blue.

At the close of the public hearing, Commissioner Marilyn Gould strongly suggested the business owner be in attendance at the next hearing regarding his business.