Gahanna visitors will know what businesses are at Creekside and where they may park, thanks to a new sign package approved by Gahanna's Planning Commission on April 24.

Gahanna visitors will know what businesses are at Creekside and where they may park, thanks to a new sign package approved by Gahanna's Planning Commission on April 24.

Applicant Ashley Swazuk, of OHM Advisors, said the new owners of the Creekside property (Creekside Investments) have started endeavors to improve the economic competitiveness and viability of businesses in the development.

In a letter to the commission, she said, a primary concern of existing businesses is the absence of effective signs to promote the presence of businesses that don't have direct street frontage.

Creekside Investments, of East Lansing, Mich., has been working to develop a comprehensive sign plan that keeps with the character of the neighborhood and promotes businesses, too.

Planning and zoning administrator Bonnie Gard said the applicant requested variances for two monument signs, which include tenant panels, at Creekside Plaza; two projecting signs at 81 Mill and 101 Mill St.; and one projecting sign for the parking garage at 121 Mill St.

Projecting signs extend outward from a building facade, and both sides of the sign are identical.

The commission approved variances for signs at 81, 101 and 121 Mill St., as well as design review for the same.

Variances include allowing a monument sign to exceed 5 feet in height, waiving the landscape requirement at the base of a sign, allowing a monument sign to be placed in the public right of way and allowing a projecting sign to exceed 4 feet.

Swazuk said the public parking garage sign should provide visibility that has been lacking in the past. She said an increase in the height and visibility of signs to 6 feet 7 inches for the underground parking lot would allow the city, Creekside Investments and the businesses to take full advantage of the investment in underground parking.

Addressing the lack of Mill Street signs for tenants to the rear of Creekside, a monument sign with tenant panels will be on a monument sign to be placed on existing piers adjacent to brick walkways and stairs.

Placement of the monument signs on the existing brick piers allows the signs to be integral to the character of the development while considering pedestrian mobility and exposure to traffic.

The existing brick piers are integral to the streetscape and are built over the right-of-way line, according to Swazuk.

To effectively integrate the signage into the character of the existing development, she said, it's requested the monument sign be granted a variance to allow placement over the right-of-way line.

Swazuk said the signage would enhance the viability and competitiveness of Creekside businesses, as well as promote and enhance the character of the area.

Commission member Jennifer Price said she's excited about Creekside's new owners bringing energy and investment to the project.

"I commend the applicant for the comprehensive package," she said. "I commend them on a job well-done. It's good for tenants and residents."

Commission member David Andrews agreed.

"I think this will be great for people driving by who can see what's in Creekside," he said. "Welcome to Gahanna."

In other commission business, design review for a new sealed-surface parking area for Red Brick Mortgage, 314 Agler Road, was approved. The parking lot will be accessed through the neighboring Pinnell Dance Center lot.

Requests for conditional use and a variance by the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities were postponed to May 8 for property at 500 N. Hamilton Road.