Chairman Bulova: Fairfax County Must 'Update and Modernize' Electronic Sign Rules


September 10, 2012 – At Tuesday’s Board Meeting, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova will raise the issue of Fairfax County’s ordinance regulating electronic signs.

Board members were made aware late last month of a legal challenge to an enforcement action taken. This action revealed the outdated nature of the ordinance as it relates to electronic signs and the use of changing messages.

Fairfax County staff has since rescinded the notice of violation, as well as two other notices to other properties for similar violations. Staff has already started to review the ordinances of neighboring jurisdictions for how electronic signs are regulated and how moving and changing messages are treated.

“It is important for Fairfax County to update and modernize its current zoning ordinance on signs,” Chairman Bulova said. “Regulations should strike a balance between allowing reasonable usage of changing copy on electronic signs while preventing the creation of a safety issue for passing motorists or a nuisance for neighbors.”

On Tuesday, Chairman Bulova plans to recommend that the board direct the Planning and Zoning Department to continue its work to develop recommendations on how it can improve the sign ordinance as it pertains to moving copy, flashing, and intermittent lights and visuals on electronic signs. The Board of Supervisors will have to approve any change to the ordinance before a permanent change is made.

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Troy Manos
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