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Council moves forward with Street Modification Guide

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

While looking at a number of recent issues regarding signage, the Clemmons Village Council decided to follow a path recently taken with streets in its plan to move forward in Monday night’s meeting.

The council completed the final step of approvals for the Street Modification Guide with recommendations on speed limits throughout town in its previous meeting, and councilman Mike Combest suggested that a similar comprehensive approach might be best to deal with recent discussions regarding wayfinding signs, on-premises temporary signs and ground signs.

And the council agreed by consensus, giving staff direction in how to proceed.

“I think we have a precedence to follow that I think we just got very right with the street speed limits,” Combest said. “We have a street come in asking to do work on that street and we were counseled, and I think rightly so, to take a comprehensive approach to that and not just fix one thing at a time. I’d offer the same principle is going to apply here because we’re rapidly going to get into a situation where we’ve got to look at all of signage anyway with the Lewisville-Clemmons Road upgrade, etc.”

Planner Nasser Rahimzadeh talked about temporary signage in the Oct. 14 meeting, and an item regarding AdSign Corp.’s billboard along I-40 was on the agenda Monday night.

The company previously had a much larger sign but was forced to comply with the requirements of the Clemmons sign ordinance implemented in 2011 that reduced it to 4 feet by 9 feet.

“You can’t see it,” said Britt Perkins of AdSign in the public comments portion of the meeting. He asked that the council consider going back to the 200 square feet of signage allowed by Forsyth County.

That prompted a discussion initiated by Rahimzadeh seeking guidance from the council in how to proceed on this matter and the other recent issues related to signage.

“It depends on the direction council wants to take in terms of if you want to do a text amendment or not,” Rahimzadeh said. “It’s important to note at this point that we have been discussing wayfinding signs, on-premises temporary signs and now we’re discussing actual ground signs that are permanent. So if council wants to revise the sign ordinance at this point, it might be worthwhile to get the process started of completely amending the sign ordinance because it seems as if we’re having a number of issues involving the sign ordinance.”

Rahimzadeh said that going through a rewriting process would take about 16 months while minor amendments can usually be completed in four to six months.

Combest then rolled out his idea to do the rewrite that has to be done and then do the modifications.

“I’d offer to you rather than fix just this one sign and having our policy be dragged forward by a single event, let’s get the comprehensive right and let that sign fall in with that,” Combest said. “So I’d say hold fire, go from the general to the specific with no exception granted to this particular sign.”

This wasn’t the only sign, or signage, brought up in Monday night’s meeting. The council recently discussed adding new NCDOT reflective green “Welcome to Clemmons” signage, along with considering a smaller sign displaying this being the home of West Forsyth High School, as well as something similar on the Clemmons water tank — where there is money available in the town’s utilities reserve account.

Shannon Ford, marketing and communications director, said she went to West recently with some options to choose from and get consensus from the council on the wording for the entryway sign and water tank.

It was ultimately decided, after council discussion, on the entryway sign to have “Welcome to Clemmons” and underneath “Home of West Forsyth, Village of Champions” and “Home of West Forsyth” on the water tank.

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Approved the contract with Kimley-Horn for providing transportation and planning and engineering services related to the development of the Village Transportation Plan for $25,200.

• Approved a resolution declaring objects collected by Colonel Clark during his military career and donated to the village, for which the town no longer has the space to display and no longer has a use for, to be transferred to the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University.

• Introduced Ellliot Fus of Blanco Tackabery, which was named the new law firm to represent the village in the previous meeting on Oct. 14.

• Heard from Mayor John Wait that the Village of Clemmons will be closed on Monday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day and that the next council meeting, which is usually held the second Monday of the month, will be Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. because of the holiday.

• Was read a proclamation by Wait recognizing Veterans Day 2019.

• Heard from Ford in the marketing/communications report that the recent Monster Dash and Goblin Hop had a “great turnout,” and that the flag retirement ceremony, which will also honor and recognize all veterans, will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the Clemmons Civic Club. Ford added that last week Clemmons Wonderland was launched on the village’s website to promote visitors and residents to spend more time in Clemmons and support special events and local businesses.