CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kroger store at Ashton Place can have a new sign that's higher than zoning rules allow -- but not as high as company officials had wanted, Charleston zoning officials decided Thursday.
Plans presented by J.S. Signs Inc. to the city's Board of Zoning Appeals showed a proposed sign measuring 35 feet tall -- 15 feet higher than the city allows for village-commercial districts like Ashton Place.
The shopping center's existing sign, along Corridor G, is 28 feet tall, but it already had been erected when the new limits were set.
Zoning board members decided to allow the new Kroger sign to remain at that height.
Bob Deriggi, general manager of J.D. Signs, said that will send the company back to the drawing board. The larger sign would have allowed all 15 Ashton Place tenants to have a sign at the shopping center's entrance, he said.
Options for a small sign would be "downsizing the panels, risking effective visibility, or eliminating them altogether," Deriggi said.
The Kroger Co. bought the Ashton Place shopping center earlier this year and began renovating the grocery store in May. The store remains open, and the renovated deli, cheese shop and seating area will open Nov. 22. Kroger spokeswoman Allison McGee said renovations should be completed by May or June.
Also at Thursday's meeting:
• Charleston Area Medical Center received a conditional-use permit and waiver that would allow a parking lot to be built at the former site of the Arthur B. Hodges Center -- a nursing home the hospital demolished in April.
The parking lot would alleviate some of the stress caused by traffic in the hospital's parking garage, located along Lewis Street, according to architect Aric Margolis, who applied for the permit and variance on behalf of CAMC.
"The biggest issue they have with the parking is at shift change," Margolis said. "They have to hold some 300 cars back in the parking garage just to allow their employees to come at 3 o'clock and have a place to park.
Because the site was zoned as "residential office," plans to have the lot 10 feet from Morris Street would not be in compliance with the designation. Residential office properties are required to be set back by 15 feet.