Watchfire requests zone changes
DANVILLE — Meijer is stealing most of the spotlight for March’s Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, but plans by Watchfire Signs is another great business expansion for the community, according to city officials.
On March 1, zoning commissioners will hear a request from Paul Kero, Watchfire’s vice president of operations, to change the zoning of 1009 and 1001 Maple St. from R2, single-family residential zoning, to I1, light industrial zoning, and 1012 Brook St. from agriculture to I1, light industrial zoning.
The changes will clear the way for Time-O-Matic/Watchfire Signs, 1015 E. Maple St., to expand.
Watchfire is a Danville manufacturer of digital billboards and electronic message centers. It ships signs throughout the United States.
According to information provided to commissioners about the project, the Watchfire brand entered the sign market about 10 years ago and is a brand of Time-O-Matic.
Watchfire has recently experienced significant growth and has outgrown its existing facility. Watchfire has moved some departments off site to other locations on Voorhees and Fairchild streets.
The company intends to start construction of its expanded facilities this year.
The 110,000-square-foot addition is for its existing manufacturing and office facilities, and more parking areas and better truck access also will be added at the Maple Street site.
One of the properties Watchfire purchased for the expansion was from District 118. The 3.63 acres of property is located north of East Park Elementary School. Watchfire paid $20,000 for the land, which is located in the western portion of two parcels the school district owns closest to the digital sign manufacturer.
Watchfire also owns two residential parcels and a vacated alley north of Maple Street, in the southwestern corner of the Time-O-Matic properties.
Danville Planning and Zoning Manager Chris Milliken said the department has heard only some questions from nearby neighbors, such as about increased traffic with the expansion.