Powell's annexation of the CVS property on the southwest corner of Sawmill Parkway and Seldom Seen Road will be heard by city council at its March 1 meeting.

Powell's annexation of the CVS property on the southwest corner of Sawmill Parkway and Seldom Seen Road will be heard by city council at its March 1 meeting.

Under state statutes, the city has until March 3 to accept or reject the proposed annexation, city manager Steve Lutz told city council at its Feb. 15 meeting.

The annexation has been about a year in the making. In March 2010, council approved a pre-annexation agreement for the 2.5-acre property at 3488 Seldom Seen Road. The property is currently in Liberty Township.

The annexation process has hit a stumbling block because of CVS's proposed use of an electronic sign, or reader board, which would change no more often than every 30 minutes.

The pre-annexation agreement includes a sign package that permits uses beyond city code in number and square footage, as well as the use of changeable LED's in a monument sign.

CVS representative Michael Stoner repeatedly has said over the year that flexibility on the business' sign package has been "the motivating factor" to its joining the city.

Stoner has said the smaller and limited number of signs called for in the city and the township code puts the store at a disadvantage because the signs are not visible enough to attract customers.

The sign package was approved as part of the pre-annexation agreement by city council in March 2010. All council members, save Richard Cline who arrived after the vote, approved the agreement.

The city planning and zoning commission approved the combined preliminary and final development plan, which included the sign package, in October 2010.

Throughout the hearings on the annexation and signage plan, some council and city planning and zoning commission members objected to the use of an electronic sign. The package was approved at each step, however.

In November 2010, as council discussions for final approval of the annexation began, council members Brian Lorenz and Sara Marie Brenner said they could not support the use of an electronic sign

A number of residents in the area of the CVS attended council meetings, objecting to the electronic sign.

On Feb. 15, resident Frank Semetko said he was elected to speak against the electronic sign by homeowner associations of a number of area condominium complexes. He said he also was speaking on behalf of the newly formed Sawmill Corridor Group and for the Community Oversight Foundation (COF).

The COF is a nonprofit organization that monitors Powell-area development. The organization, along with Liberty Township, opposed Powell when it granted a zoning certificate for a Target store in Powell. Delaware County Court of Common Pleas judge W. Duncan Whitney recently dismissed Liberty Township's appeal against the planned Target.

"Basically what we're looking for is orderly development in the community. ... This community is business-oriented. We welcome CVS. We need you, and we're your customers. We want CVS to succeed, but we want them to be a good neighbor too. The concept of LED's bright red just grinds the living daylights out of our people," Semetko said.

The CVS is a neighborhood business, not a regional business, and needs only neighborhood-style signs, Semetko said.

A document dated Feb. 10 lists several conditions the city has requested of CVS. They include limiting sign changes to once per day and turning the sign off when the store is closed.