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Town of Herndon establishes uniform design standards for signs

Efforts are underway to establish uniform sign guidelines in the Town of Herndon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Town of Herndon is instituting uniform sign standards in an effort to manage consistent design that fits its character and architectural context.

The proposal, which was adopted by the Historic District Review Board yesterday (Wednesday), would also streamline the number of cases that go before that board and the town’s Architectural Review Board.

“These standards give direction on the ways in which signage can serve practical needs while contributing to Town character and appearance,” the new design standards say.

Specific standards laid out for the town’s Historic District Overlay area say signs should typically follow a consistent design palette and ethic. The rules also discourage the use of standardized designs and colors that clash with the overall aesthetic of buildings.

“Creative and artistic designs are encouraged to enhance liveliness and visual interest,” the design standards say.

The guidelines also detail considerations for projecting signs, wall signs, free standing signs, canopy signs and awning signs. Similar standards are considered for the town’s Architectural Control District.

At a previous work session, board members said the design standards were too broad and not restrictive enough.

But in a March 15 memo, Herndon Deputy Director of Community Development Bryce Perry said that the board did not provide additional comments on possible changes.

“Staff is open to suggestions on how to add further specific to the standards,” Perry said, adding that additional specificity is included in other documents like the downtown pattern book.

He said the guidelines are crafted “purposefully to cover broad design considerations that could be applied to all sign cases.”