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JCPenney granted more sign space

JCPenney received permission to place a sign on its Parkside Drive exterior wall at Farragut Municipal Planning Commis-sion’s meeting, Thursday, Feb. 19.

The sign addition was unanimously approved by Commission.

“All their signage is concentrated on the west end of the building,” Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said.

“We’re concerned that when you’re [driving] westbound on Parkside Drive, a Parkside sign will really be ineffective,” she added.

Town staff recommended placing another ground sign at the shipping and receiving entrance instead of a wall sign on the Parkside Drive facade, but JCPenney representatives feared a road sign would send customers into the wrong entrance.

Furthermore, former Farragut Mayor Robert “Bob” Leonard told commissioners, traffic on Park-side could prevent possible customers seeing a ground-mounted sign.

“If an S-U-V had been in front of the sign board they’re telling you they’d like to have, you wouldn’t have seen it,” he said.

However, a sign on the building’s north wall would be easily recognizable and visible, Leonard said.

“You’d see the sign, know what it was, and you’d look to see what it said. ... You’d see it more than 100 feet from the red light into J-C-Penney,” he said.

Leonard told commissioners the Town’s sign ordinance was originally intended to prevent “commercial clutter.”

“Turkey Creek is a unique development in East Tennessee ... a 150-foot sign on a 309-foot [wide] store can not be considered commercial clutter,” Leonard said.

Commissioner Carol Evans told Leonard and Turkey Creek Land Partners representative Jim Nixon that JCPenney’s plans were turned in to the Town more than two years ago.

“I really resent the fact that [this] was not submitted until January,” she said.

Ed St. Clair asked Nixon if it would be wiser to place the sign on the Parkside facade or on the east side of the building.

“The main reason they were attempting to put it there was that they were afraid someone would turn into the loading dock area when they first saw the sign,” Nixon said.

“And the loading dock area has no customer entrance and no parking,” he added.

Connie Rutenber agreed with Nixon, saying the white tile facade on the building’s north side was a “natural background” for a sign.

“I think [the sign] being placed closer to the entrance is a help; it directs you to the proper turn-in,” Rutenber said, adding a ground-mounted sign “would not do the job here.”

Mayor Eddy Ford reminded Commissioners the C-2 zoning designation in Turkey Creek allowed leeway in signage.

“This is not the main thoroughfare in the town of Farragut like Kingston Pike, the area we refer to in our C-1 zoning, where we have very strict signage restrictions,” Ford said.

“This particular box [JCPen-ney] itself looks somewhat like a warehouse, forgive me.

“The signage that is being requested will soften that, and will really make it look like the department store I’m sure J-C-Penney is proud of and the Farragut Land Partners are proud of and the people in the town of Farragut will be proud of,” he added.


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