MOUNT VERNON — Concerns about illumination and size were brought up in a Mount Vernon Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Wednesday that nevertheless saw the approval of two signs for Mount Vernon City School’s new field house.
The BZA board voted unanimously to approve a 117-square-foot sign consisting of two feet, four-inch high letters spelling out “Energy Field House” flanked by two Mount Vernon logos each taking up another 17 square feet that will go above the building entrance. A second sign, featuring a 17-square-foot Mount Vernon logo and “Excellence in Education” in 20-inch high letters measuring 82 square feet on the south side of the field house, was also approved.
The signs are both above the permitted 30 square feet for the area in which the high school sits. The area is zoned as a public and semi-public district, or P1 district.
MVCS Athletic/Activities Director Justin Sanford spoke at the meeting on behalf of the school.
Though he voted for approval of the signs, BZA Boardmember Don Carr asked Sanford whether the city’s zoning requirements of 30 square feet were taken into consideration by the project architect or designer when the signage was designed. Sanford said he did not know, but said it is his understanding that the sign sizes were designed to be in proportion to the building, which is approximately 70,000 square feet.
City resident Elizabeth Wagner asked when the sign will be illuminated. Sanford said the sign will be turned on by a sensor at dusk and turned off at dawn. He said the sign will be no brighter than the parking lot lights already in place at the school.
Sanford said he or MVCS Superintendent Bill Seder will hear resident’s concerns if the sign lighting presents a problem.
BZA Chair Michael Percy noted that the sign would be within zoning for a general business-zoned area. He suggested the city begin steps to change the area to general business zoning.
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