On September 2, 2020

Killington proposes LED sign at Public Safety Building

The new Public Safety Building in Killington is nearing completion, and at the town meeting on Aug. 26, the board announced its application for a 40×80 LED message sign at that location. If successful, this could pave the way for an additional LED sign to replace the current sign at the base of the Killington access road on Route 4.

Killington bylaws allow only external lighting on signs; however, this excludes government entities, so technically, a permit is not needed. However, because of the use of LED technology, the board said it would be useful to go through the exercise of reviewing this particular sign with the knowledge that if it is approved, there will be coming a request to replace the message portion of the Welcome to Killington Region sign. Town Planner Preston Bristow provided the board with a draft permit outlining a list of conditions modeled after the city of Burlington’s ordinance, which he modified to fit this situation.

According to the meeting minutes, Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth said the request for an LED message board came from the Fire Department (KVFD). KVFD noted it would be very useful to have the ability to easily post public safety messages using LED technology and they offered to pay for the electronic message portion of the sign.

Hagenbarth noted that the goal of applying for this permit is to obtain input. The town wants the public and businesses to know it is not looking to ignore its bylaws, but may be the first to erect such a sign, find out what the issues are, what does and doesn’t work and then manage that into future regulations. LED sign technology, if regulated properly, may be a technology that businesses want to incorporate into their signs.

In general, the meeting attendees agreed that an LED sign would make sense at the PSB, although several expressed concern over the effect on the region. In the minutes, Merisa Sherman said she feels businesses will want to use this technology as well and if not regulated properly it can change the character of the Killington Road and create safety issues for pedestrians and vehicles. If the town moves forward with this type of sign for the PSB, she recommended the bylaws be amended to state such signs can only be used for town facilities, and that there be a strict limit on the amount of lumens that these types of signs can emit, regardless of the time of day. Sherman stressed the safety of vehicles and pedestrians and maintaining the character of the Killington Road should  be made a priority.

Jon Wysocki said the PSB sign is a matter of public benefit. He understands the concerns over lighting and safety of vehicles and pedestrians, but said having the electronic messaging capability is for the greater public good.

At the meeting, Wysocki agreed incorporating this technology at the Killington Region sign needs more conversation. It was requested that the town meet again with the Development Review Board, after the electronic message display at the PSB has been in operation and can be evaluated, before proceeding with an electronic message display on the Killington Region sign at the foot of the Killington Road.

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