Ad Hoc Group on Signage, 2015

The City of Alexandria has established an Ad Hoc Group to review zoning regulations pertaining to Digital and Portable A-Frame Signs.

Page archived as of October 31, 2019

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, City Council accepted the Planning Commission's recommendation to approve a text amendment to Article IX of the Zoning Ordinance regarding regulations for signs allowed on properties in each zone. Council added instructions that the newly adopted regulations get an additional review at six and 12 months after adoption.

  • Docket materials can be found here.

Digital Signage in Alexandria

Generally, animated signs (including “chasing” lights, moving images, and scrolling messages) are not permitted, but there are provisions in the Zoning Ordinance for schools and churches to use digital signs to convey information to the public.  As sign technology changes, this Group is examining the ways the City’s regulations address the new signage products that are coming into form. 

Portable A-Frame Signs in Alexandria 

In most cases, portable signs, including A-Frame signs in front of businesses, are not permitted.  The City does have a special Wayfinding Signage Program that started in 2009, which is now being updated. The new program will use a different type of signage other than an A-Frame structure and will accommodate special signs at intersections along pedestrian-oriented shopping streets to direct shoppers to businesses that are on side streets.  

In the interest of balancing desires for business vitality with issues of clutter and safety, the Ad Hoc Group has been examining whether current regulations adequately serve the needs of the community or whether policy modifications are needed.

Ad Hoc Group Meeting Materials

AD HOC Group Membership

The Ad Hoc Group consists of representatives from business, civic, historic and neighborhood organizations. Opportunities for public comment will be provided at each meeting. 

  • Nate Macek, (Chair), Alexandria Planning Commission
  • Pete Benavage, Beauregard Urban Design Advisory Committee
  • Barbara Belmont, Old Town Civic Association
  • Bill Blackburn, Del Ray Business Association
  • Lynn Bostain, Seminary West Civic Association
  • Lillian Chao-Quinlan, Owner of SportRock Climbing Center
  • Pat Miller, Del Ray Citizens Association
  • Steve Milone, Alexandria Federation of Civic Associations
  • Michael Porterfield, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
  • Jay Nestlerode, Del Ray Citizens Association
  • Danielle Romanetti, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
  • Amy Rutherford, Visit Alexandria
  • Peter Smeallie, Board of Architectural Review
  • Charles Sumpter, Eisenhower West Steering Committee
  • Carol Supplee, Old Town Business and Professional Association
  • Fernando Torrez, Old Town Civic Association

AD HOC Group Tasks

The Ad Hoc Group will help the City evaluate the following:

  • What issues have been observed regarding A-frame and digital signage in recent years?
  • What regulations and guidelines exist to address current issues?
  • What changes are needed to these regulations based on current issues?
  • What additional recommendations are appropriate to further address current issues and to otherwise improve signage policies and programs for digital signage and A-Frame signage?


Contact Alex Dambach, Department of Planning and Zoning, 703.746.4666,