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Columbus denies sign variance 

Planning board says no to larger sign for new O’Reilly Auto Parts 


COLUMBUS—The new O’Reilly Auto Store will not get the sign they requested.  

During a recent Columbus Planning Board meeting, the board denied a variance requested by the new store for a larger sign.  

Columbus’ sign ordinance includes that a sign be no larger than 100 square feet in the Highway Commercial District. O’Reilly Auto Parts requested a variance to that ordinance for a 148-square foot sign.  

Erin Hayes with O’Reilly attended the planning board meeting requesting the variance.  

Hayes said that due to the company’s competitors’ disadvantage, O’Reilly Auto Parts was requesting the variance.  

Columbus Planning Board member Jimmi Buell asked board members if the board was going to give all the businesses in that location a variance if they requested one. The board responded that no they would not.  

Board member Kathleen Nowakowski asked Hayes if all the businesses in that location could create a sign for the group instead of single signs for each business.  

The new O’Reilly Auto Part store is currently being constructed off Highway 108 in the commercial district just before downtown. The O’Reilly Auto Part Store was the first to be constructed at the former Watson’s Flooring and Columbus Hardware Store location. Other businesses to be constructed there include a Verizon Store, a Bojangles and an Urgent Care.  

Columbus Town Manager Tim Barth said he would speak with the developer about creating a master sign for all the businesses instead of multiple signs.  

Planning board member Joan Scoggins said she wants to stay within the sign ordinance guidelines. Planning board member Brent Jackson said he thinks O’Reilly Auto Parts will be close enough to the road for the business to not have any hardships if the sign variance is not approved.  

The board denied the variance unanimously.