An LED sign that will change once every 30 minutes might keep CVS Pharmacy from annexing into Powell from Liberty Township.

An LED sign that will change once every 30 minutes might keep CVS Pharmacy from annexing into Powell from Liberty Township.

The 2.5-acre development, the CVS property at 3488 Seldom Seen Road, was on track for this fall, but the annexation may have hit a stumbling block.

In March, city council approved a pre-annexation agreement for the property. City council on Aug. 4 voted to provide services to the property on the northwest corner of the Seldom Seen Road and Sawmill Parkway intersection, and the Delaware County commissioners approved it.

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

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

The city planning and zoning commission approved the combined preliminary and final development plan, which included the sign package, on Oct. 27. Most commission members said they didn't approve of the electronic sign, but felt their hands were tied because of the pre-annexation agreement, which allowed it.

Throughout the various discussions in city council and in the P&Z meetings, development director Dave Betz has said the sign package is part of the pre-annexation agreement that council passed in March.

Council member Richard Cline told ThisWeek a pre-annexation agreement gives both sides a chance to see what they want out of the annexation, but it is not binding.

Council members Brian Lorenz and Sara Marie Brenner have said they are worried about the precedent allowing the sign would set.

Lorenz said it would be "negligent" because it violates the majority of the city's sign code and "detracts" from the architectural characteristics of the neighborhood.

Brenner said allowing it would create an imbalance for other businesses signs.

The LED sign would be part of a monument sign that is 10 feet 7 inches tall and 7 feet 3 inches wide. It would include an LED sign of about 3 by 6 feet, which would change no more frequently than every 30 minutes. The property has a sign that is 5 feet 6 inches tall and 6 feet wide.

The agreement also provides for internally illuminated individual-letter signs of as much as 102 square feet, including a third such sign that will be on the south side of the building.

The store has two internally illuminated "CVS/pharmacy" signs made of individual letters, one on the north side and one on the west side of the entrance. Both are about 34 square feet.

Also in the agreement are six internally illuminated signs that would be mounted on the exterior walls near the roof line. The brick walls would be stained the color of stucco and the signs would read "Drive-Thru Pharmacy," "Beauty" and "Beer & Wine." They range in size from almost 9 square feet to 26 square feet.

The second hearing of the annexation is before council at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at city hall, 47 Hall St.