Grove City Record

Variance upheld for hospital signs


The same day Mount Carmel Grove City began accepting patients, Grove City Council members rejected a resident's opposition to a pair of signs at the new emergency care facility.

On Jan. 21, Grove City Mount Carmel's 24-hour emergency care facility officially opened and began accepting patients. That evening, Councilman Steve Bennett, Councilwoman Maria Klemack-McGraw, Councilman Jeff Davis and Councilwoman Laura Lanese voted down a resolution that would have overturned a zoning variance granted by the Grove City Board of Zoning Appeals to Mount Carmel in December. Council President Ted Berry was absent.

By affirming BZA's decision, council is allowing Mount Carmel to construct two free-standing signs at its 5300 North Meadows Drive location which exceed the size, height and number normally allowed under city code. The city's sign code permits no more than one free-standing sign on a single parcel and limits the height to 8 feet and the size to 50 square feet.

Mount Carmel will have a freeway sign that is 22 feet, 6 inches tall and 398.9 square feet in area and an entrance sign just under 15 feet tall and 147.46 square feet in area. At night, the letters of the signs will be lighted.

Chris Lagana, Mount Carmel's owner representative, said the freeway sign is intended to be seen at high rates of speed.

"This is a standard sign for us," he said, adding it would be similar to a sign at Mount Carmel East.

The entry sign, Lagana said, is designed to direct patients and visitors to the facility.

Resident Steve Goble, who filed the appeal, said he was disappointed by council's decision. Goble, who lives on Orders Road Court across Interstate 71 from Mount Carmel, said he watched the facility go up.

"It's lit up like a Christmas tree," he said. "I just don't want another sign sticking up."

Goble said his property is elevated enough to be out of the way of freeway traffic headlights, but the added signs will be a problem for him and his neighbors.

"There's no trees, no foliage that will cover it up," he said. "Just grass. ... I have to deal with it now."

Goble said he would see what he could do, including talking to Mount Carmel about putting up some kind of screening.

"It's not over yet," he said.

Jason Koma, Mount Carmel's director of external affairs, said Mount Carmel has had its door open for feedback from residents and will continue to do so.

"We've wanted to be good neighbors throughout the entire process," he said.