Seven sign permits approved
At tonight’s City Plan Commission meeting, six conditional use permit requests from Adams Outdoor Advertising for off-premises signs were acted upon. Jason Saari, real estate manager for Adams, was present at the meeting and spoke on the requests. He stated that he was happy with all of the staff recommendations, but he had some comments on the sixth request, which he said he’d reserve until that point in the agenda. These requests were the result of a long process culminating in a new sign ordinance for the city. Mayor Keith Bosman stated that “this has been a long process to get to where we are. I’m happy to see it moving forward.”
Richard Schroeder, a specialist from community development and inspections, gave a quick overview. The new ordinance calls for two kinds of signs that require conditional use permits: digital signs, and ones that don’t meet the criteria of the ordinance (such as height or spacing requirements). They are considered exceptions if they don’t meet the criteria spelled out in the ordinance. The ordinance does still place a cap on the number of signs in the city (which is 94). If a new sign is placed, one will need to be removed.
All of the six requests were approved unanimously.
- 2920 Roosevelt Road – Two new off-premises signs will be going up on an existing pole. The ordinance calls for a 35-foot maximum height, but these signs are being placed at a 45-foot height.
- 3906 – 30th Avenue – Four new sign faces will be going up on a vacant lot where there were previously signs, but they were removed due to their poor structure. These will be two back-to-back signs (one structure with two on each side). The ordinance requires a 150-foot spacing from a residential district. These signs will be 48 feet from a residential district to the west. The proposal is 30 feet in height. The city proposed reducing it to 20 feet to resemble what was there in the past. Adams agreed to the changes.
- 2429 – 60th Street – The request is to add one new sign face. The spacing from a residential district is also a variance here. It is 116 feet from a residential district to the south.
- 8016-8020 – 75th Street – Two new faces on Highway 50 above looking down on Prairie Lake Mobile Home Park. This one is also 115 feet from a residential/multi-family district. The sign is 61 feet in height. Because it’s on an overpass, the requirement is that it be no more than 35 feet to the highest point on an adjacent state-trunk highway. It meets the height restriction on Highway 50. It’s no more than 35 feet above the grade on Highway 50.
- 7010 Sheridan Road – Four existing signs are on this site; they are 300 square feet each. The proposal is to remove them and place two new 672-square-foot signs in their place. This is allowed in the ordinance. The ordinance variations requested are 85 feet from a residential district, and 85 feet from St. Mark’s Church/School. The requirement for a church/school is at least 200 feet. Alderperson Jan Michalski stated that he does not get a lot of complaints regarding these signs from constituents in his district, so he had no problem with this request.
- 3312 – 52nd Street – Saari stated that both the former alderman (Anthony Kennedy) and the current alderman (Patrick Juliana) had no issue with this request. The existing sign structure holds two 300-square-foot sign faces, one above the other. The proposal is to replace with one horizontal sign which is 672-square-feet in area (thereby ending up with one big wide sign vs. two big signs stacked one above the other). Staff recommended replacing at the 35-foot height maximum, ten feet below the current height (45 feet). The reason Saari gave for the higher height request was so as not to block the on-premises signs on either side. The 35-foot height was approved, and Saari stated that they will be asking the Common Council to reconsider it at their next meeting, which will take place on April 2nd.
Also, the request to amend the conditional use permit for property at 6300 – 67th Street (Parkside Manor) was approved. Jeff LaBahn, interim director, explained the request to barricade access because of traffic generated by the site to the north of the assisted living site. People use it as a convenient bypass to 67th Street and Green Bay Road. Michalski stated that neither the Fire Department nor the Police Department had any problems with this request, and the requester will bear the entire cost of the barricade. LaBahn also assured the commission that this request had no bearing on Stocker Elementary School. (To read more about this issue, click here: Public Safety & Welfare Committee Meeting.)
Commission member Anita Faraone had a question about candidate signs. She stated that on her way to the meeting tonight, she passed a sign as big as a yard, and she wanted to know if the city had any ordinances dealing with political signs. LaBahn replied that they were exempt under the city’s ordinance. “As long as they are not in vision clearance or in the public right-of-way, they are fine,” said Schroeder. Faraone stated that she doesn’t mind big signs like that on a vacant lot, but not in front of a private house. The mayor stated that “it’s only temporary. They will be gone in two weeks.”
The next City Plan Commission meeting will take place on Thursday, April 6th, at 5 pm.