The city's Landmarks Commission gave its approval March 26 for zoning variances and a certificate of appropriateness so Huntington Bank can install new signs at its downtown branch.

The city's Landmarks Commission gave its approval March 26 for zoning variances and a certificate of appropriateness so Huntington Bank can install new signs at its downtown branch.

Huntington hired the DaNite Sign Co. to redesign and install the new signs at its 37 S. High St. location.

"Hopefully, we can get everything squared to your approval," company representative Bob Schorr said.

The updates to the bank required three zoning variances and a certificate of appropriateness to allow a sign facing a residential area; for the size and materials on the signs; and to allow multiple signs in the preservation district, according to city Planning and Zoning Administrator Andrew Dutton.

A particular concern for the Landmarks Commission was a freestanding monument sign the bank wants to install in front of the building on High Street.

According to Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire, DaNite provided the city staff with photos of a similar sign installed elsewhere.

"This is the same sign they installed in Granville and it looks very nice and is appropriate for the location," Haire said. "We do require landscaping around the base and it is within the requirements for Landmarks and planning and zoning."

Landmarks Commission member Will Bennett objected to the variances.

A not-to-scale computer-generated illustration was provided to the commission instead of the photographs previously shown to the city staff.

"I'm not comfortable approving the monument sign from the illustration we're seeing here," Bennett said.

He cast the only vote against approving the variances and the certificate of appropriateness. However, Landmarks Commission members stipulated that the landscaping and lighting plans for the signs must be approved in advance by the city staff.

In other business Monday, Nancy Torsen, co-owner of The Handworks on High, 36 N. High St., sought permission to hang a sign in front of the shop.

"We have a new shop up here on north High and we'd just like to hang a sign out front," she said. "We're going to use the same size sign and hanger as what's there and it will be wood and painted by one of our artists."

Bennett said he was concerned the sign represented to the commission was not what the artist would ultimately create. He stipulated that a handcrafted sign should generally match what was presented to the Landmarks Commission.

"If we approve this sign, we need to have it looking the way you are showing it to us," he said. "If it comes back as something completely different, then that isn't the same as what we approved."

After Bennett made approval contingent on a sign that is of similar size to the existing one and that uses similar typeface, the commission voted unanimously to approve signage changes for The Handworks on High.

Finally, approval of a railing and paint scheme for a building at 20 E. Waterloo St. brought up concerns that new property owners in the historic district are not being notified about preservation-area guidelines at the time of purchase.

Carl Heister said he was not informed of the guidelines when he bought his property.

"Our concern is that some new owners are not being made aware of these things and we're trying to figure out where that hole is," Bennett said. "Don't we have a responsibility to get that information to them?"

Dutton said the city does not have a mechanism in place to proactively provide that information at the time property changes hands.

The next Landmarks Commission meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, April 23, at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.