MOUNT VERNON — The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals had an unusually long meeting Wednesday, mostly due to a complicated application for seven variances for a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts at 400 W. High St.
The owner, Jerry Landis, S&L Fast Foods Inc., sought variances on front and side setbacks, sign number, location and height, a monument sign setback and the number of parking spaces.
The committee met at the site, on the corner of West High and West streets, to see how the development will be arranged, then resumed the discussion in council chambers. There was little discussion on the setback of 14 feet, 10 inches on the west side since, as was noted, that’s much better than the existing one. But the setbacks proposed are greater than the existing building, which sits on the right of way line. The city normally requires a 30-foot setback.
The board rejected the requested setback for the monument sign or a variance for its height. The board wanted to avoid blocking the sign on the barbershop next door, although they were not required to consider that.
They allowed a 3.5-feet buffer between the pavement and the barbershop because the barber shop sits on the property line and the buffer allows room for the barbershop’s emergency exit to open.
The board also approved only seven parking spots instead of 12 because of the need to allow trash and delivery truck access, and because the owner also has a lot across Vine Street where employees will park. There are also three spaces on the street in front of the store.
A reduced setback for direction signs (which do not count against the number of signs) was also approved.
The application of Jennifer Farmer, owner of the Happy Street Bro-Works, 209 S. Gay St., asked for a variance for a sign to hang from the existing hardware, perpendicular to the building. The city’s sign code does not permit signs to be perpendicular to buildings. The sign itself was already approved.
Farmer argued that the sign would be virtually invisible if they had to mount it against the building wall.
The board approved a motion to allow a small sign (24 inches instead of 44 inches) and at an angle no more the 24 inches from the building. That would be similar to the angled sign on the Grand Hotel.
Council member Nancy Vail suggested that the issue of perpendicular signs was something council might want to look into, but BZA Chairman Mike Percy said that would fall under the direction of BZA.
Main Street Mount Vernon
The board was quicker to approve a small angled sign on the new office of Main Street Mount Vernon at 210 S. Main St. The sign would look like two street signs, mounted in a pole flush to the wall. The signs would be at angles and no more than 18 inches from the building.
The board also approved an application from Jeff Salva, Green Valley Design, for a new fence along the north property line of 121 E. High St., formerly Zelkowitz, Barry and Cullers and future home of Ariel Foundation. The fence would be 6 feet high at the west end, then slope down to 48 inches for the last 12 feet to the McKenzie Street right of way.