City of Staunton says Consumers Auto Warehouse sign violates code

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Consumers Auto Warehouse in Staunton recently re-faced a sign on their property that the city says is against code.

The Consumers Auto Warehouse sign that the City of Staunton says is against code. | Credit: WHSV

The owner disagrees, saying in the 17 years his business has been in that location, the city never had any issues with the structure that was there.

About 45 days ago, Consumers Auto Warehouse re-faced a sign for their business after it had been standing for at least 30 years.

Now, the city is saying they have to take it down within the next month.

Owner Andrew Wiley said the post in his lot had a sign in it previously, before the faces blew off, leaving exposed light bulbs there for about 10 years.

He said during that time, the city never contacted him about the vacant structure until he decided to reface it.

"I try to put up nice looking sign faces on it, and that's when I get a notice that says I have to take it down," Wiley said. "Not only do I have to take it down, the faces off the sign, but they're telling me I have to tear it down to the ground."

The city said the sign violates three codes, including that Wiley did not get a permit, the sign doesn't comply with current regulations (including that businesses can only have one sign no bigger than 30 square feet), and that it does not fit in with the Entrance Corridor Overlay guidelines.

"I wholeheartedly support that," Wiley said about the city's guidelines for making corridors leading to downtown look visually appealing. "I love this city. I love downtown. I don't have any issue with wanting the city to look good, I just don't think they're applying the rules properly,"

Wiley is hoping to work with the city to come up with a compromise to keep his sign in some form.

"That doesn't require me to have waste seven thousand dollars on a sign, and to also leave this corridor looking good and still implying with the intent of the regulation," Wiley added.

The violation notice from the city says Wiley has 30 days from July 9 to remove the sign or file an appeal, but Wiley is hoping to resolve the issue informally without having to take legal action.