Northwest News

Neon sign for hotel gets NWCA trustees' blessing


The extended-stay hotel that will replace the former Kmart store at Bethel and Olentangy River roads will be called Taylor House, and a large neon sign on the side of the building will declare it as much.

Members of the Northwest Civic Association Board of Trustees signed off last week on a graphics variance sought by developers of the 329-unit hotel.

The sign, six feet wide by 18 feet long with the words "Taylor House" written vertically, would project from the side of the building, similar to the sign for Johnny Bucelli's on the other side of Bethel Road, according to attorney Jill Tangeman.

She appeared in behalf of Taylor House LLC of Westerville seeking a variance because while the property is zoned for commercial purposes, the Bethel Road overlay prohibits projecting signs.

As originally proposed, the sign would have been black with muted blue trim and white letters.

"It's not intended to be a Las Vegas, bright-lights sort of thing," Tangeman said.

The sign is needed, however, because of the number of outparcels containing fast-food restaurants and other businesses that partially obstruct the view of the extended-stay facility, Tangeman said.

Rosemarie Lisko, chairwoman of the NWCA's graphics and zoning committee, said she felt the sign was "more tasteful" without the blue outline.

"I'd like to see that eliminated," she told the attorney, calling it a compromise in exchange for approval of not adhering to the commercial overlay standards.

The variance request will go before the city's graphics commission March 18, Tangeman said.

With Chairman John Ehlers abstaining, trustees Kellie Ehlers, Mark Krietemeyer, Kyle and Kyle Hartman joined Lisko in voting to recommend approval of the variance request, with the condition that the blue outline be eliminated.