County Vote Allows Ocean Pines To Install Electronic Signs

SNOW HILL – The Ocean Pines Association will be able to install electronic signs following approval of a text amendment by county officials.

The Worcester County Commissioners last week approved a text amendment that will permit on-premises signs internal to an established residential community. The change means the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) will be able to replace its existing signs with up to eight electronic signs.

“They will not be seen by individuals outside the community,” said Colette Horn, OPA vice president. “They’re for informational purposes for our residents.”

The association has been working for some time on plans to upgrade its array of aging community signs. County staff met with the Ocean Pines Communications Advisory Committee and helped put together a text amendment that would allow for internal community signs. An amendment that would allow for up to six signs was approved by the Worcester County Planning Commission in December.

On Tuesday, the amendment came before the commissioners for approval. Commissioner Chip Bertino, who represents Ocean Pines, was quick to point out that the community currently had more than a dozen signs that had to be changed manually.

“I know that a lot of times depending on what’s going on in the community or in an emergency situation the ability to have these signs changed remotely, electronically, would be a heck of a lot easier,” he said.

Bertino asked if it would be possible to have the amendment allow up to eight internal signs.

Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, said he didn’t see a problem with that.

“They’re all internal,” he said. “They’re not going to be seen by the general public outside of Ocean Pines. They were limited to things advertising their events and so forth, not commercial advertising.”

Horn, the only participant during Tuesday’s public hearing, spoke up to recommend the amendment. She stressed its positive impact on public safety.

“The concept has been endorsed by Chief Ehrisman of our OPPD and Chief Grunewald of our fire department for the public safety advantage,” she said.

The commissioners agreed to increase the permitted number of signs to eight and voted unanimously to approve the text amendment.

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.