Large Dollar Tree Signs Approved For New Site In Kingston

NEW SIGN DESIGN – Kevin Dixon, a planner hired by Dollar Store, explains the sign the company wants to put on its new location on Route 27 in Kingston.

An oversized sign for a new Dollar Store moving into a Kingston strip shopping center was approved February 16 by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The store is taking over the 15,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Retro Fitness in the Princeton Marketplace on Route 27.

Dollar Store needed three variances for what the township considered two signs: the maximum number of signs permitted per tenant, which is one; the maximum vertical dimension of 3 feet, 3 feet 6 inches and 4 feet was proposed for the two signs; the maximum sign area of 30 square feet, Dollar Tree proposed a total square footage of 143.7 square feet.

Kevin Dixon, Dollar Store’s planner for this project, told the Board that the signs would take up the same amount of space that Retro Fitnesses’ sign did.

He said the sign needed to be large to be able to be seen from Route 27.

He said a bank that sits between the highway and the building, plus a large amount of vegetation, serves to obscure the view of the building from motorists on Route 27.

“There is a safety factor that is involved in having a message that is readable from the street,” he said. “The signs are huge on a highway. The reason is that they want you to see them right away … they want you to be able to get your eyes back on the roadway. I think it creates a convenience and a safety factor.”

“Appropriate sizing of the sign is a benefit to both the town, as well as the motoring public,” Dixon said.

“We’re not imposing an egregious visual blight on the building, we’re not imposing a glaring or blaring sign of any kind, there’s no moving or flashing lights,” he said.

Board member Robert Shepherd, noting that a large monument sign adjacent to Route 27 will have the Dollar Tree sign on it as well, said that Dixon’s arguments in support of the large sign “all go away.”

“Because people riding up and down the road are going to see that monument sign and there’s really no reason for Dollar Store to have this enormous sign on their building,” he said. “It just seems also the way you explained all the vegetation in that parking lot … sort of makes it seem likes there’s really no need for the sign there. I’m just not comfortable with the arguments you’ve made that it’s important for this sign as a matter of safety or a matter of convenience.”

Dixon said that he’s “never been a fan of” the type of monument sign that sits on the highway.

“I don’t think they contribute to the safety of the motoring public,” he said. “When you’re going 50 mph, you can’t go down the list of stores to see what’s there.”

Nick Kappatos, whose company is creating the sign,said that Dollar Stores “try to have a certain size sign with a certain size building.”

“I think it looks proportional and fits the size of the building,” he said. “A sign has to look correct. A lot of times the ordinances does not reflect what is needed for these properties.”

The Board unanimously approved the sign variances.

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