Shelton P&Z ponders height of Dunkin’ Donuts sign

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is contemplating how to handle a request to replace the stand-alone road sign for Dunkin’ Donuts at 733 Bridgeport Ave.

A new sign is needed for a company-mandated new logo, the applicant claims, who wants it to be 20-feet high, like the existing sign. But current rules limit the height to 12 feet.

The proposed stand-alone sign also would put more emphasis on the “Drive-Thru” available at the establishment.

New logo is 'a conformity issue'

Bryan Vasser of Archer Signs, representing the applicant, said the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner is being told it must have the signage up with the new logo within 30 days or he won’t be allowed to operate. “It’s a conformity issue,” he said.

Vasser said because it takes four weeks to get the signs once ordered, the owner “could miss his opening.”

Ruth Parkins, P&Z chairman, said claiming the business would have to close if it doesn’t get the sign it wants seems like an overstatement. She was concerned the sign was so big it might even be visible from Route 8.

Most P&Z members were concerned about the height of the new sign, not the design.

The Dunkin’ Donuts is located in the rear of a small strip shopping center that includes various businesses in separate buildings, including the Plaza Diner and Woodside Deli. Dunkin’ Donuts leases its site.

Staff to work with property owner

Rick Schultz, city planning and zoning administrator, said he will work with the property owner on bring them into compliance with sign regulations, which limit height and overall size.

“In the spirit of cooperation, I’ll work with the property owner so they can have a new monument sign...I’ll start working with them right away,” Schultz said.

Vasser said the P&Z appears to be holding the Dunkin’ Donuts owner responsible for the non-conforming sign of the shopping center's property owner.

The P&Z did approve new signs on the side of the Dunkin’ Donuts building off Bridgeport Avenue as well as a new awning.

Schultz told P&Z members he expects the other three Dunkin’ Donuts in Shelton to also seek permission for signs with the new logo in the future. “It’s a new prototype,” Schultz said.