The Grandview Heights Planning Commission at its Nov. 28 meeting approved a ground sign and a variance from the city code that states ground signs cannot extend higher than six feet above the finished grade for the building at 1114 Dublin Road.
The application was made by DaNite Sign Co. on behalf of 1114 Dublin Road LLC, an affiliate of Dawson Resources, which plans to move its offices into the former Thomas W. Ruff Co. showroom and sales office on Dublin Road.
The application is for a 12-foot high sign, said Andy Von Derau, a sign-design consultant with DaNite Sign.
The commission voted 4-1 to approve the sign and the variance with understanding the approval was given due to the special circumstances of this case and does not set a precedent that other applicants could seek.
Those circumstances include the fact that only one of the three parcels on the property is in Grandview. The other two lie within the city of Columbus.
Other issues that led to the commission's approval is that motorists traveling by the building at 45 mph and above would not be able to see a six-foot sign and the concern that motorists trying to find or read the sign may cause a hazard on the roadway.
Commission member Robert Wandel voted against the application.
"I have no problem with the design of the sign," he said. "I have a problem with it in relation to our code.
"It's not the design quality or the intent" of the sign, Wandel said. "How do we justify saying you can (exceed the height restriction) here, but not over here?"
When Dawson bought the building, a memorandum of understanding was adopted, with the city of Columbus' consent, that Grandview would handle all building permits associated with the site, Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.
The ground sign will be located in Grandview, Von Derau said.
If the sign was in Columbus and subject to that city's code, it would receive an automatic approval up to a height of 20 feet, he said.
Dawson will bring about 70 employees to the site, which provides more room than the space it now occupies at 3650 Olentangy River Road in Columbus, said David DeCapua, a principal at the company.
Most of the space at the site will be occupied by Dawson, but the company plans to seek a tenant for about 12,000 square feet at the rear of the building, he said.
Late last year, City Council approved a 101/2-year agreement to give Dawson a 30 percent credit on city income taxes for any full year in which it maintains a payroll of at least $2 million at the Dublin Road site. The total amount of the tax credit will be capped at $250,000.
Dawson is a locally owned and operated search, recruiting and staffing firm.