Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Zoning board votes 3-1 to allow McDonald's to have a 50-foot-tall sign on its lot in Green Gables development

The Golden Arches will tower over Midway.

The Woodford County Board of Zoning Adjustment voted 3-1 Monday night to allow McDonald's Corp. to erect a 50-foot-tall sign on the lot where it plans to build a restaurant, in the Green Gables development formerly known as the Weems property. The normal limit for an on-premise sign is 40 feet.

McDonald's is also expected to rent space from the state to put
its golden-arches logo sign on the services sign in this photo.
Gust Mecera, a McDonald's representative from Columbus, Ohio, told the board that the sign needed to be 50 feet high to be visible from eastbound Interstate 64. The company expects most of the restaurant's business will come from the interstate.

Mecera provided the board several photographs of a dummy sign hung from a boom truck showing the visibility of the proposed height. The captions said that the sign would not be visible half a mile from the eastbound exit, but would be visible a quarter-mile from it. Photos of the westbound approach, from which the sign would be even more visible, did not indicate the distance from the westbound exit. For those photos, in a 4-mb PDF, click here.

Board Member Marjorie Evans of Versailles questioned whether the variance would set a precedent, but Board Chairman Tim Turney and Member Al Schooler of Midway said each request is judged independently and the board shouldn't base a decision of what might happen. Schooler moved to approve the variance and Evans voted against it.

The board's action is final. Variances do not have to be approved by the Planning Commission. McDonald's has not applied for a building permit, but its request for the sign variance, and the board's approval of it, appears to pave the way for the Golden Arches.

Developer Dennis Anderson of Anderson Communities said the variance was one of several things McDonald's wants before proceeding, but he said the negotiations are far enough along that an agreement between the two companies has been drafted.

This story will be expanded.

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