The Happy Druggist might not be so happy after all.

Members of the Northland Community Council development committee voted against a variance request for the pharmacy and office at 5770 Karl Road following a Jan. 31 hearing.

The vote was 7-4 to recommend disapproval, with five abstentions, including three committee members who had to leave before the vote was taken, Chairman Dave Paul said.

He acknowledged that the request, as voiced by Stan Young of Trinity Sign Group representing DaNite Signs, was greatly improved over one previously submitted, but he said a majority of committee members still could not go along with the graphics variance.

"This is a much better application than what we were dealing with last year," Paul said. "Stan Young has done an admirable job of cleaning up the application ... but we still don't buy their contention that they should be permitted to have a sign as large as what's permitted in a C-4 zoning when they are a C-2 zoning."

The pharmacy is allowed by council variance to operate in the more restrictive C-2 zoning, which is primarily for offices

Young told committee members his client wants to remove an existing sign that is about 66 square feet in size and replace it with one that is 58.87 square feet. The current sign was the subject of a graphics-code violation in December 2016 when two changeable-copy elements were added.

Young said the size is "still nonconforming, but less so."

Committee Vice Chairman William Logan said the graphics code would permit a maximum 30-square-foot sign at the Karl Road location.

"This particular site sits in a very heavy commercial area," Young said, pointing to other nearby businesses with LED signs, including CVS and Walgreen pharmacies.

"You've done an admirable job condensing down the issues," Logan told Young.

The question committee members face, Logan said, was how far they were willing to stray from the graphics code.

"We think this is a good fix," Young said. "It's smaller than what's there now. It's more attractive than what's there now."