Everything’s bigger in Texas

Published 9:34 pm Thursday, May 28, 2015

Texas Roadhouse wants special permission for some Texas-sized wall signage at its future restaurant in North Suffolk’s Hampton Roads Crossing.

The company has applied to the city’s five-member Board of Zoning Appeals for permission to exceed the maximum allowable area for wall signage by more than 50 percent.

Under the city’s Unified Development Ordinance, wall signage square-footage cannot exceed the linear feet of the side of the building fronting the street — even if the signage is divided between different walls.

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According to plans filed with the city, Texas Roadhouse wants 128.5 square feet of wall signage facing College Drive and 18.1 square feet on another side of the eatery.

The side of building fronting College is 96 linear feet.

Above the awning on the front of the building, it would be “TEXAS” and “ROADHOUSE” in large letters side-by-side, with an outline of the Lone Star State wearing a cowboy hat between the words.

The smaller signage on the side would be the two words on top of each other and the Stetson-wearing state outline riding high in the saddle.

In its application, the company’s consultant claims hardships in how the 2-acre parcel can be developed. The front of the building, surrounding by 164 parking spaces, will be 135 feet back from the curb, and accessibility to the site “creates a unique circumstance and doesn’t allow vehicular traffic a direct route to the restaurant.”

“Our client’s signage is one of the most important aspects of their branding and identity as they don’t advertise through standard channels,” the application reads.

“The proposed wall signage is the prototypical signage they strive to achieve at all locations. Any deviation from this signage could prove (to have) negative consequences on the long term economic viability of the location.”

The board is scheduled to decide the matter at its June 9 meeting. Unlike Suffolk Planning Commissions recommendations, determinations by the board don’t require City Council approval.

Any appeal would be heard by Suffolk Circuit Court, which also appoints the members of the board.