Planning commission upset over Twice Daily's 'bad' sign

Daily Herald (Columbia, TN), 2014-07-17


July 17 --An LED video message board erected at the Twice Daily convenience store on Main Street is in violation of city ordinance, according to the Spring Hill planning commission.

Chairman Jonathan Schwartz said citizens and commissioners were surprised to see the LED sign had been erected on the property despite the commission telling the company's owners such signs were prohibited.

George Dean , a Nashville -based attorney representing the owners of Twice Daily , said he felt the issue was a "misunderstanding" on the part of his client. Dean said his client talked with city officials and thought it would be fine to put a sign on the building but set it back three feet in a window.

"We want to make the city happy," Dean said. "Ultimately, we want to get our certificate of occupancy."

Alderman Jonathan Duda said even though the sign was placed inside a window, the fact that it is an LED message board and displays information outside the building still violates the sign ordinance.

In January, the owners of the Twice Daily came to the planning commission requesting an LED video board to advertise specials and goods as part of their building design request. City officials informed the owners the sign is prohibited by city ordinance.

At that meeting, Duda said community concerns prompted the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to change the sign ordinance in 2009, preventing such signs from being erected in the city. The signs are only permitted for static pricing and messages, such as gas prices. Duda also asked the owners consider "the context of the community" when they developed an alternative plan for their roof and signage.

Schwartz was the lone dissenting vote against the design of the Twice Daily plans. He said he was "concerned and dismayed" that the sign was erected despite the commission's clear disapproval.

"There is no gray area," he said. "They were told -- point blank -- no."

Wilkes Development

New plans for the design of the Shops at Campbell Station -- also known as the Wilkes Development -- revealed PetCo will be joining Marshalls, Aldi , and Hardee's.

The commission requested a right turn lane be put in on Campbell's Station Parkway intersection to help with traffic concerns around the development. Assistant City Manager Dan Allen suggested plans for the development be approved conditionally upon the construction of a right turn lane into the facility. However, the board opted to approve the plans contingent upon a public access easement from the property in a 4-1 vote. Schwartz provided the sole dissenting vote.

Because of his client's "aggressive schedule," project manager Theo Stone suggested the developer be allowed to contribute funds to an escrow account that will then be used along with funds from other companies affecting the intersection to help install the turn lane. The city would administer the funds and oversee the construction under this plan.

The commission also voted unanimously to approve the building design for the Marshalls, Aldi and Hardee's on the lot.

Parking Spaces

The board voted unanimously to recommend the BOMA change the city's standard parking space size from 10 feet by 20 feet to 9 feet by 18 feet in accordance with new standards. The ordinance allows for parallel and angled parking.

Duda said the city has granted "dozens" of variances for smaller parking spots in the past years, so changing the size makes sense.

Commission Secretary Charlie Schoenbrodt also asked the city look into standards for compact parking places to accommodate a wider variety of vehicles.

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