Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

17 February 1998

7:00 p.m.




The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Acting Chairman David Okum.


Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, David Okum,

Barbara Ewing and Dave Whittaker

Members Absent: Councilwoman Kathy McNear, Thomas Schecker and Chairman James Squires

Others Present: Bill McErlane, Building Official

Mr. Okum stated we have four members in attendance, which is a quorum.


Mr. Wilson stated there is a typo on Page 12, and moved for adoption of the Minutes. Mrs. Ewing seconded the motion; all present voted aye and the corrected Minutes were adopted with four affirmative votes.


Report on Council Activities Ė No Report

Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum stated that Planning reviewed a proposed addition to Enterprise Rent A Car 169 Northland Boulevard. The landscaping was to be reviewed by the City Planner, the fence area in the rear of the building was to be refurbished and there is a request for variance before this board tonight for the sign being too close to the end of the building, and HVAC units are to be concealed or screened and approval was granted. The proposed Wal-Mart Garden Expansion was considered. This was an expansion to the original expansion we had approved with some enclosed area to keep year round plantings Ė approved. Aslan Pack & Ship in Wimbledonís requested approval of his sign which was nine inches too long and was approved for this one time only, and would not be grandfathered for any future tenants. We gave record plat approval for Pine Garden Condominiums. There was a concept discussion for Tri-County Marketplace Phase II. This took the area on the other side of the creek for a 9,997 square foot retail building to be constructed on top of the creek on a pier. The setback was 35 feet (50í required) and there was quite a bit of discussion concerning buffering the neighborhood. There was a requested revision to Tri-County Marketplace, Phase I. Comp USA requested less window frontage because of people driving in and stealing computers etc. They also requested a change in the materials used on the buildings. The materials presented were rough face block on the entire facility and they wanted to go to flat face block on the two sides and the rear of the buildings. That was turned down by Planning, so they allowed the elimination of the glass on Comp USA but not the masonry change.

Mr. Wilson said when I was on Planning we discussed that third building, and I thought the general consensus was it was not to be put there, because there were too many variances needed for that plot.

Mr. Okum responded we cannot prohibit them from making an application for that, but they do have to show the uses and meet the setback requirements and all the other planning criteria. Additionally if there are variances which there probably will be, they will be referred to this board for our consideration as well.

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

17 February 1998

Page Two


A variance once granted will be referred back to the Board of Zoning Appeals if after the expiration of six months no construction is done in accordance with the terms and conditions of the variance.

If a variance appeal is denied, the applicant may resubmit the appeal six months after the denial.

Chairmanís Statement

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Public Hearing, and all testimony given in cases pending before this board are to be made part of the public record. As such, each citizen testifying before this board is directed to sign in, take his place at the podium, state his name, address and the nature of the variance. Be advised that all testimony and discussion relative to said variance is recorded. It is from this recording that our Minutes are taken.



Walker Pontiac GMC, 150 Northland Boulevard requests the placement of a Grand Opening Sign for 30 days. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(9)(a) "Painted..window signs shall be regarded as permanent signs."

No one was present to represent Walker Pontiac and Mr. Wilson moved to table because of the lack of representation. Mr. Okum said this has happened before with this applicant. The last time they did not show up and after the 30 days went by they were on the agenda again. If we give them a table that stays all decisions or action. Mr. McErlane reported the difference is that the last time around the sign was already up. In this case it is not. Mr. Wilson said based on your comments I will withdraw my motion and move to remove them from the agenda. Mr. Okum asked if that would give the Building Department more bite in prohibiting them from putting their signs on the building. Mr. McErlane stated they will have to wait until next month to do anything. They could still apply for a banner permit for two weeks instead of the 30 days they are requesting. Mr. Wilson wondered if it mattered whether it is tabled or removed. Mr. McErlane stated the only difference is whether or not they would have to refile a request. If you are asking for a recommendation, if you are going to allow them to reapply next month, you might as well table this and we will send a letter telling them that they have been tabled due to a lack of representation. Mr. Okum commented if we remove them they will have to resubmit. They have inconvenienced this board.

Mr. Wilson said I move to table to next month. My concern is what gives us the most bite? If we table them and they put up the sign can we force them to take it down? If we remove it from the agenda and make them reapply, would that give us more bite if they decide to put it up? Mr. McErlane reported in either case the law director will say that if they file an appeal application we suspend any action against them. If we table them and they put the sign up tomorrow, they currently have an application before the board. If we remove them from the agenda and they put the sign up tomorrow and they decide they will reapply and do it the next day, we still suspend action until the appeal hearing. Should they do that and not show up next month, you still can act on the application next month and deny it and then we can take action. Typically until the appeal hearing has taken place, we suspend action.

Mr. Wilson asked Mr. McErlane his option and Mr. McErlane said I donít know if there is a specific time they want to run this, and if it were this month, waiting until next month wonít do them any good anyway. So, I guess it makes more sense to remove it from the agenda. That way you have a clean agenda if they decide not to go forward with it.

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

17 February 1998

Page Three

Mr. Wilson moved to remove them from the agenda and Mr. Whittaker seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Whittaker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Okum. Item was removed from the agenda.

B. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 169 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow their wall sign to be 0 feet from the end of the building. Said variance is requested from Section 153.135(A)"..Wall or panel signs...shall be set back from the end of the building..for a distance of at least 3 feetÖ"

Bob Carpenter, agent for Enterprise said the drawings illustrate their primary purpose. Instead of having two signs on individual units, we would like to integrate it into a wrap. There is no attempt to gain square footage. It is within the square footage that you allow. The only thing that lights are the graphics and the white stripe. You donít see this as two or three signs; when it is put together it is more of a building element and not an appendage to the building. I have photographs from another location; disregard the green stripe. You will note from the appearance of the corner that you do not have two abutting 90 degree angle cabinets; you have a clean 90 degree angle in the face as it goes around the building. The down lighting is achieved through translucent panels; they are very visible but their primary reason is for a light source. We feel it will give the whole building a much cleaner look and something that will not look like something that has been added on. They have been incorporated in almost all the Enterprise buildings.

Mr. Wilson asked if the E to the end of the building would be illuminated and Mr. Carpenter answered no. Where it says Enterprise, those are white letters in a black field, and only the letters light there. Where it says 1-800 Rent A Car, those are black letters on a white field. That white field continues on across the building and around the corner, and that is illuminated on three sides. On the right hand end of the building, it continues to the rear corner of the building. That was added after we talked to Planning. They had been talking about painting it black and white and felt it would be more attractive if they went to the added expense of continuing the lighting on around the corner, but without graphics.

Mr. Okum said so the board is clear, the representation is different than what we have before us. You have indicated the light channeling on the sides. Mr. Carpenter responded what we are representing here is what we are requesting. What the architect is calling the east elevation is not east. We would call that the right end of the building as you face it, and they have illustrated that as a painted black and white stripe to match this other signage and sign band across there. The original concept had the name and black and white stripe running across the front of the building and ending there. They were going to continue it on around the building, but only in paint. Now they would like to illuminate that right into the building, the front and the 16 foot return going back to where it meets the old building.

Mr. Wilson commented from the E all the way around with the black and white striping and illuminated, to me all of that is signage because all of that represents Enterprise. I have to see how much signage you are allowed and see if you would be going beyond that with this white stripe that you want illuminated. I have a concern that we have this merry go round effect on buildings and if you are going to be it on three sides, in a broad sense that is signage all the way around.

Mr. Carpenter said when we came into the Building Department, their interpretation was the part where we had Enterprise name and Rent A Car was what would be counted towards our signage. This other was more or less building decoration or decorative lighting, which had been incorporated in other facilities in the area and not counted against their square footage. The typical Enterprise logo is 45 square feet on the two elevations, the side elevation and the front elevation. The black and white has not been considered signage by the other communities or by us.

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

17 February 1998

Page Four


Mr. McErlane added we typically will only include the copy area of the letters as the signage, similar to what we do with canopies. If you are familiar with the UDF pump island canopy, they have United Dairy Farmers in one corner and some orange and yellow striping along the whole length. When we figured the square footage, we just used that corner as their signage.

Mr. Okum asked about the maintenance of the neon lighting. Mr. Carpenter answered it is fluorescent high output. Mr. Okum said the drawing is different from that. Mr. Carpenter said there is no neon. Those are just standard high output fixtures and they typically would have lamps going where the white stripe was and where the graphics are at the Enterprise end. There would be three rows of lamps for 15 feet of the sign and then a single row down the center of the white stripe. Mr. Okum said what will you do to prevent us from looking at flashing fluorescent lights as they go out? Mr. Carpenter responded that is where I make my money. They are very service conscious and demand that we fix this in less than three days.

Mr. Wilson wondered if there will be exterior lighting in the parking area. Mr. Carpenter answered it is not part of this package, but there will be lighting that will downflood the building. The rest of any building lighting was addressed by others, and I have no knowledge of it.

Mr. Wilson moved to grant the variance and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Okum, Mr. Whitaker and Mrs. Ewing. variance was granted with four affirmative votes.

Mr. Okum commented that these type requests are very difficult to handle. When the new Zoning Code is in effect, it should address this. Mr. Wilson said I donít want it to look like a merry go round with lighting all around it. All the Enterprise places I have seen look pretty decent, so I donít anticipate our having any problems. Letís just hope we didnít set a precedent with other developers asking for lighting all around the building.


Mr. McErlane reported we have sent out notices to a number of people who have obtained variances and have not acted on them. This will be on the agenda for next month. I donít know if weíll have any of them come in and ask for a continuance, but you may want to consider whether you want to block vote those if there is no one here to represent them. Basically you would be voting to revoke the variances.

Mr. Okum commented it probably would be inappropriate to block vote, even though there is no representation. Before we get to the meeting, I would like to be clear on what the motion should be, to deny or revoke. Mr. McErlane looked at the rules and regulations, and reported it would be to revoke the variance.


Mr. Wilson moved to adjourn and Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


____________________________,1998 ________________________

David Okum, Acting Chairman


____________________________,1998 _________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary