Zoning Board approves new sign for Peterborough Plaza

  • Peterborough ZBA members approved a new sign for the Peterborough Plaza on Route 101
  • Peterborough ZBA members approved a new sign for the Peterborough Plaza on Route 101

PETERBOROUGH — Zoning Board of Adjustment members approved a request from Ocean State Job Lot for a new sign at the entrance to the Peterborough Plaza on Route 101.

The 110-square-foot sign will have room to show the logos of 16 businesses in the plaza, with the largest space reserved for Ocean State Job Lot, which owns the entire plaza and has the most retail space. Other large tenants include the N.H. Liquor and Wine Outlet and a Rite Aid Pharmacy.

There are 21 retail spaces in the plaza, according to Mike Patenaude of Poyant Signs of Nashua, who showed drawings of the site and the proposed sign to the ZBA. Five of those currently vacant, and Gregory Duncan, director of store planning and property management for Ocean State Job Lot, said the company is working to recruit new tenants or increase the amount of space leased by current tenants.

“At this point we are looking to have signage for 16 names,” Duncan told the board. “A lot of the spaces could change over the next few years.”

The plaza has no sign at the entrance on Route 101 right now. A former 40-square-foot sign, which Duncan described as “a rusted-out monstrosity” has been removed, although the pole that held it still remains in place. The new sign would sit on the location of the former sign.

“It’s set back about 50 feet from the road,” said Patenaude. “Visually, it won’t be in the way of cars leaving the plaza.”

A good sign is necessary, he said, because the plaza sits at an angle to the highway and the fronts of most of the businesses are not easily seen from the road.

“It’s a unique property. It’s difficult to find if you don’t have a sign,” Patenaude said. “People travel to this plaza from other towns. The sign will help the tenants stay in business.”

While zoning regulations allow just one free-standing sign no larger than 40 square feet in the Village Commercial District, board members agreed that the sign met the conditions required for a variance, noting that the large size of the plaza with multiple tenants meant that a smaller sign would be a hardship.

The 15-foot-tall, 110-square-foot sign will have room for the logos of 16 businesses, and those logos will be internally lit. It will have a false stone base, with a panel reading Peterborough Plaza at the top.

Last month, the ZBA approved a new sign at the The Monadnock Community Plaza on Route 202 South, authorizing the plaza’s owner, the Lannan Company of Nashua, to install a 151/2 foot tall sign with space to list the names of 15 businesses.

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