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Fort Henry Mall gets new electronic sign

Matthew Lane • Nov 26, 2018 at 9:35 AM

KINGSPORT — A new electronic sign has gone up at the Fort Henry Mall. If you’ve driven by, chances are you’ve seen it. It’s not exactly hard to miss.

The new sign is located at the corner of Fort Henry Drive and Memorial Boulevard — one side says “Fort Henry Mall” and the other is electronic with announcements, store advertisements and information about special events.

Foster Signs began installing the new sign around the time demolition of the old Sears location was taking place. Work wrapped up last week and the sign went live on Tuesday.

SIGN PACKAGE

Ken Weems, a principal planner for Kingsport, said this latest sign is the last in a package of signs approved for the property by the city last year. After Hull Property Group purchased the mall in 2016, the company came before the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals requesting a number of variances having to do with signs.

To get all the signs the company wanted, HPG requested a dozen variances from the BZA, all of which were approved.

“The owners bought the mall, switched the name back and part of their new design was a sign package. The vast majority required variances,” Weems said. “The board found that (with the property) being so large there was good standing for variances based on how unique their situation was.”

MANY VARIANCES

Here’s a quick rundown of the variances granted based on documents submitted to the city:

— The freestanding electronic sign required a number of variances — it was too far away from a main entrance, it was too big and its electronic portion was too big. Zoning rules state freestanding signs can be only 200 square feet and that any electronic portion can be only 50 percent of the total size.

- That a third, freestanding sign be allowed on the property. Zoning rules state only two are allowed.

- The main entrance sign near Shoney’s exceeded the total amount of signage allowed for the property.

- Finally, seven directional signs located within the property were too large. Zoning rules state directional signs can  be only 2 square feet in size.

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