you're reading...

Cornelius News

Can a sign be too big? Totally.

A sign too big: Total Wine’s proposed sign

Nov. 15. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Board of Adjustment tabled a request from Total Wine to install an oversized sign at their new location in the former SteinMart store in Cornelius. Board members asked store representatives to come back at their Dec. 12 meeting with a new design which reflects their size concerns.


Total Wine’s proposed new sign would have been a total of 246.24 square feet, while the town code only permits signs to be a maximum of 100 square feet.

In their application for a variance, Gina Penney, representing Total Wine, said the store is located 290 feet from the roadway and that enforcing the town sign law would represent an “extreme hardship” in the world of modern retail..

Board members took exception to the hardship declaration and asked store officials to come up with a new proposal with smaller lettering.


Per Town and state law, the Board of Adjustment, which is comprised of the same individuals as the planning board, acts on enforcement of the town Zoning Ordinance on individual properties, such as variance requests. Requests are heard in a quasi-judicial (court style) manner in which sworn testimony is given and decisions are based on facts and evidence presented.