Workers armed with cordless drills and a boom Tuesday afternoon took down the massive white letters of the Merrimon Avenue Staples store sign, the latest chapter in a years-long battle between city residents and Asheville City Council over the city’s enforcement and interpretation of its Unified Development Ordinance.
The city, which initially approved the sign three years ago, based its decision on the idea that the ordinance’s size limitations only applied to the letters, not to the background of the signs, as opponents contended. After much debate, Mayor Terry Bellamy traveled to Staples’ headquarters in Framingham, Mass., last September and brokered what she hailed as a compromise. Staples offered up its proposed design changes during a Jan. 28 press conference.
The city and Staples announced that the signs on the Merrimon Avenue and Interstate 240 sides of the building would be reduced by about 45 percent, and that column rockwork on the building’s corners would be added to soften its appearance. The company also said the lower portion of the building would be outfitted with a metal lattice to allow vines to grow up the sides.
The changes will cost between $75,000 and $100,000.
Click here to see a photo gallery of the sign work.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor