Northland News

New sign, cell tower recommended for approval

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Following a two-month hiatus because there were no cases to be considered, the Northland Community Council development committee met last week to recommend approval of two applications.

They were, it turned out, relatively routine, according to Chairman Dave Paul.

"It was actually quite brief," Paul said.

The meeting started at 6:30 p.m. May 28 in the Northland Performing Arts Center and was over by 7:45 p.m. -- "which for us is quite unusual," he noted.

Committee members heard first from zoning attorney Jeffrey L. Brown of Smith and Hale LLC, representing Litech Lighting Management Services. The requested variance from the city's graphics code would allow for an automated price sign at a Shell station, 1195 Morse Road.

In the other case, Rob Ferguson of United Acquisition Services Inc. represented New Par, doing business as Verizon Wireless. That application involves replacing a 1986 development plan for a 0.15-acre site at 3389 Old E. Dublin-Granville Road to permit construction of a cell tower.

The automatic changeable copy sign at the Morse Road gas station initially came before committee members in January 2012, and was rejected at that time because other aspects of the proposed sign didn't meet the commercial overlay for the corridor, including height and setback.

This time around, Paul said the proposal met with the panel's approval, although members did seek to have other signs at the same business brought into compliance. Those signs do not comply with the Morse Road overlay but were in place before those rules were created, Paul said.

"We did ask Jeff to speak with his client about whether they might voluntarily address that tower sign or pylon sign," he said. "He was aware of no intent on the part of his client to do so. We can't force them to, but we'd like them to at least consider it."

The proposed cell tower sought by New Par is along the original path of state Route 161, predating the construction of a freeway section that now carries traffic on East Dublin-Granville Road -- hence the added designation for the address, Paul said.

"If you looked it up without the designation of 'old,' you'd find yourself on the freeway and there are no addresses there," Paul said. "There are no residential uses nearby. The entire area is industrial or manufacturing."

Paul said he already has at least once case scheduled for the advisory panel's next meeting on Wednesday, June 25.

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