Here’s a look at the sign on the Merrimon Avenue location of the Staples office-supply store before recent changes, and after. The changes are the result of years of wrangling between city residents and Asheville City Council over the city’s enforcement and interpretation of its Unified Development Ordinance.
The city initially approved the building and its sign three years ago. It based its decision on the size of the sign by interpreting the ordinance as only limiting the size of the letters. But critics contended that the background of the sign should be included in the size limitations. After much back-and-forth, the city and Staples announced in January that changes would be made.
The size of the sign was reduced by about 45 percent. Column rockwork has been added to the corners of the building, and workers have been busy training vines up a metal lattice that’s been added to the lower portion of the building. The work will cost between $75,000 and $100,000, according to a Staples spokesperson.