Sign changes granted for new BFS Foods

CONSTRUCTION — A new BFS Foods location under construction on Freedom Way in Weirton is scheduled to open in late December. Company officials were at Tuesday’s zoning board meeting to request variances for the building’s signage.

WEIRTON — Construction of a new BFS Foods convenience store, at the site of the former Elby’s restaurant in Weirton, continues, with company officials announcing plans to open in late December.

Representatives of BFS, which owns convenience stores and gas station locations in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, attended Tuesday’s meeting of the Weirton Zoning Board of Appeals, requesting a series of signage variances for the project at 4156 Freedom Way.

The requested variances would apply to the total square footage of signage at the property, the number of wall signs and the height of the monument sign.

Under the city’s Unified Development Ordinance, monument signs are limited to 10 feet.

“Our typical sign is 35 feet high, so we’re much higher than the ordinance allows,” company executive Howard Goodstein said, noting plans are to use the pole of the existing sign from Elby’s.

Weirton Planning and Development Director Mark A. Miller noted there are signs in the city higher than 10 feet, and the board has granted similar variances in the past. He also noted the topography of the Freedom Way site was a concern, as it would make visibility difficult.

“We certainly want people to see this from (U.S. Route) 22,” Miller said.

Goodstein explained the sign would include advertisements for the convenience store and associated restaurants, as well as display gasoline prices.

“It’s fairly typical of what you would see at a convenience store,” he said.

According to Goodstein, the new BFS location will include a convenience store, with a Little Ceasar’s pizza restaurant. There also will be an “end cap” setup on the building for a Burger King, he said.

Jonathan Feathers, construction manager, noted plans are for the location to officially open Dec. 29.

Concerning the other variance requests, Goodstein explained the buildings typically include multiple signs for the BFS brand, as well as signage for the restaurants.

Miller says the square footage for signs has become a common variance request and something the city may consider changing as it updates the UDO regulations.

“When we have multi-tenant buildings, 200 square feet gets eaten up quickly,” Miller said.

The variance requests were approved 3-0, with Vice Chair Bob Kolanko, Robert Campbell and Gaston Blanc in attendance.

The board also approved a variance request from Charles Dodd, 117 Darby Court, to allow for the construction of a garage in his side yard.

Dodd explained he is replacing his current car port with the garage and doesn’t have enough space behind his residence.