At its first meeting of the year, the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning postponed a decision on recommendations regarding text amendments to the city's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

At its first meeting of the year, the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning postponed a decision on recommendations regarding text amendments to the city's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

The staff will bring the amendments to next month's work session after listening to board members suggestions regarding some of the wording.

The current UDO, which has been in existence since 2002, is in need of modifications such as simplifying the code and eliminating unnecessary or outdated provisions. The city's staff has also proposed clearer ordinances relating to wireless communications, signage and landscaping.

The board also approved the expansion of an existing, non-conforming attached garage for Michael and Mara Sheehan of 2423 Club Road. The extension will project 12.7 feet into the platted 40-foot Malvern Road setback. The proposed addition on the home, built in 1951, will include two new bedrooms and a bathroom.

The Sheehans also received approval for a five-foot-wide open porch structure to encroach 12.7 feet into the Malvern Road platted front setback. The porch structure will lead to a secondary entrance.

The board postponed a decision on a request for a comprehensive graphics plan. Applicant Christopher Champion is seeking an 18-foot free-standing sign with flood lights for his office to replace a previously existing sign advertising his State Farm Insurance company at 4700 Reed Road.

Because the request concerns a freestanding sign in a Planned Mixed Use District, the board's approval is required.

Although the staff had recommended approval, a complaint by another tenant of the building questioning the terms of the building's lease caused the board members to debate whether other tenants are allowed the same privileges in advertising their businesses on the building's site. Agreeing that they needed more information, members agreed to postpone their decision until the February meeting.

In its report, the staff had found that the sign's size is consistent with others on Reed Road and stated that the sign would not "over-advertise" the building or site. The staff had recommended approval for the request after noting that other tenants in the building would be able to add their business name on the sign, and that the application met the requirements of the city's graphics plan. But the board said the owner of the building needed to be present to clear up all confusion.

"We need to hear from the owner who directly knows and understands the issues," said board chairman Thomas J. Riley. "There are lease issues that need to be resolved."