Downtown Sherman will soon have a new tenant, as the Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission’s board of adjustment recently granted permission for an awning and sign at a property on South Travis Street.


Owners Steven and Courtney Mitchell were granted an exception to allow an awning that will hang four feet, three inches over the sidewalk instead of the usually permitted four feet and a wall sign that will project 33 inches from the business instead of the normally required 18 inches in the Central Business District for their business, Courtney Mitchell Photography at 217 S. Travis St.


“The building was purchased for the purpose of converting a glass shop into a photo studio,” Steven Mitchell said. “The construction on the front of it, it appears it originally did have a cable-type awning coming from the front. Looking through old, historical photos, everything was kind of a wood mounted post with the cables coming down just to support the awnings in place.”


The awning will be supported by cable ties that will run up into the top of the building, through the front masonry and then tie back into the backside of the building, Steven Mitchell explained.


The wall sign needed an exception because Steven Mitchell said it needed to be longer to fit the photography studio’s name.


“As far as the wall sign goes, I was working with ‘Courtney Mitchell Photography,’ which is an extremely long name, so when you get to an 18-inch sign, you get really small letters,” Steven Mitchell said, explaining the submitted sign specifications are comparable in size to others on the street.


Commission Chairman Clay Mahone acknowledged that other signs on the street have received similar variances from the commission.


“Like you said, there are other signs in the area, that we’ve granted exceptions to in the past,” Mahone said before asking whether the commission could tie the sign exception to this business. “So if a new business came in, they would not be able to make a sign that size without applying for it first.”


Sherman Director of Developmental Services Scott Shadden said the board could make that requirement in its exception, but other commission members questioned the need for it and the exception was ultimately approved without any conditions.


“I think downtown’s kind of changing, getting more colorful and modern designs,” Shadden said. “There’s a lot more going on.”