Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard, developer still working on Gateway sign plan


Developers of a Giant Eagle store and other office and retail components at the Gateway at Hilliard, a 56-acre development planned at the northwest corner of Cemetery Road and Britton Parkway, are continuing to work with Hilliard officials to reach a consensus concerning signs at the site.

At the request of the developer -- and for the second consecutive meeting -- Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission members Jan. 10 tabled an application seeking variances for several signs.

The case is scheduled to be heard at the Feb. 14 meeting of the planning and zoning commission.

Hilliard City Planner John Talentino said staff members and developers needed more time to reach an agreement concerning the number, size, style and placement of signs for the buildings planned for the site.

Commission members first reviewed the sign plan Dec. 13. At that meeting, they approved Echo Continental Hilliard's final Gateway development plan -- which includes an 84,000-square-foot Giant Eagle store, gas station, restaurants and medical offices -- but opted to table a variance application needed for several signs until Jan. 13.

Echo Continental Hilliard is seeking variances for internally lit signs and the height and number of ground and mounted signs.

Commission member Thomas Lyden said Dec. 13 that some of the proposed signs are "redundant," referring to multiple GetGo signs proposed for the gasoline station associated with Giant Eagle.

Mayor Don Schonhardt, a member of the commission, told the developer Dec. 13 signs a "need to be consistent" with those desired for all of Britton Parkway, not only to ensure that Britton Parkway is uniform, but as a model for future development in other parts of the city.

"We want to be reasonable with major tenants," said Schonhardt, adding that Giant Eagle and others would be afforded signs, but not every tenant could be permitted signs visible from the right of way.

In other action at the Jan. 10 meeting, commission members tabled an application and approved three others.

Samantha Kimes of Williamsburg Circle sought a conditional-use permit to operate a full-time child-care facility at her residence, but commission members were forced to table her application to Feb. 14 in order to obtain an opinion from the city's legal counsel. No attorneys were present at the Jan. 10 meeting.

Kimes told commission members two of her current clients are expecting children and the additional number requires her, by state law, to obtain a permit allowing seven to 12 children at the residence.

Kimes said she will have seven children after the births and does not intend to watch more than seven.

Resident Robert Domer addressed commission members, stating while he considered seven children an acceptable number, 12 was too many.

"It's a quiet neighborhood ... once you open it to this kind of business, it sets precedence," Domer said.

Commission members agreed 12 was too many but it was unclear at the meeting whether the commission could issue the necessary Type B permit, allowing for seven to 12 children, but also placing a limit that would allow a maximum of seven.

Commission members also approved:

* A site plan modification to allow a 9,000-square-foot building at Sutphen Towers Realty, 4500 Sutphen Court.

* A variance to allow a ground sign for the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus), 3790 Municipal Way.

* A variance for a temporary banner at Bella Capelli Salone & Day Spa, 4098 Main St.