MOUNT VERNON — The city Board of Zoning Appeals approved two variances on Wednesday’s agenda, but delayed a third until its April 17 meeting.
Delayed two weeks was the application for variances in parking stall requirements, loading space requirements and setback requirements to allow installation of retaining walls at 1555 Coshocton Ave., where a Panera Bread facility has been proposed. The delay was at the request of the applicant.
The board approved a conditional use permit requested by the First Church of the Nazarene, 807 Coshocton Ave., to allow for message center sign. The request had previously been rejected, but Law Director Chip McConville ruled that specifying the size of the message center included in the sign made the application sufficiently different from the original application to allow it to be considered again.
The board did specify that the 2-by-7-foot message center had to offer static, not scrolling messages. The messages can change, but not in the form of scrolling across the board.
Church spokesman John Booth explained that the sign will be about the same size as the current sign, which is 25 to 30 years old and dilapidated. He also said the sign had a “dimmer” provision so it will not be as bright after dark.
One resident, Gary Kester of Gay Street, objected to the sign if it had a scrolling feature, saying such signs are a safety hazard because they distract drivers. He said he did not object if they were static messages.
The board approved a setback variance for construction of a garage at 401 Walnut St. The variance will require a new garage to be set 10 feet back from their Elm Street property line and 5 feet from the alley. The owners, Carol and Keith Rine, originally sought a variance that would allow them to keep their old garage, modifying it into a storage shed, but under the terms agreed to they will eliminate the old garage.
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