Planning Commission Supports OP Sign Text Amendment

BERLIN – A text amendment that would allow the Ocean Pines Association to upgrade its signs received a favorable recommendation from the Worcester County Planning Commission last week.

The commission voted 6-0 to forward a text amendment that would add a provision for internal community signs within a subdivision on to the Worcester County Commissioners with a favorable recommendation.

“The county commissioners will ultimately still have to vote on this,” said commission member Jerry Barbierri.

Last Thursday, Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Vice President Colette Horn told the commission that OPA had worked with county staff to develop language for the text amendment. According to county staff’s report to the planning commission, current regulations allow no more than two community signs.

“The proposed amendment was developed by staff as a result of several meetings with a committee from the Ocean Pines Association, wherein they expressed the need for promoting events and activities within the subdivision,” the report reads. “As drafted, the amendment would allow a community to have internal signs for the display of information such as community events or emergency directives, but not for a commercial marketing message unassociated with that respective community.”

Horn said that while the proposed amendments allowed for four signs, OPA actually wanted between six and eight.

When asked if the new signs would be in addition to the community’s existing signs, OPA Communications Advisory Committee chair Jenny Cropper Rines said they would not be. She said OPA would remove 10 of its existing signs, leaving three, and would then add new signs, which would be electronic.

“These are basically replacements for the manual signs that are there,” said Cheryl Jacobs, another member of the committee.

Jennifer Keener, deputy director of the county’s department of development review and permitting, reminded planning commission members that the text amendment would be county-wide.

“This could be Ocean Pines, it could be a subdivision in Pocomoke area, it could be anywhere,” she said.

The planning commission voted 6-0 to adjust the text amendment to allow for six signs and to forward the proposal on to the county commissioners with a favorable recommendation.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.