The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 18, 2014

Fox Lake shopping center seeks sign variance

EDMOND — The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 5-0 in favor of the revised 15-acre final plat of the Shoppes at Fox Lake. Commissioners also voted 4-1 to approve a sign variance for a taller and larger square footage sign at the Shoppes at Fox Lake.

Commission Chairman Barry Moore cast the no vote on the request made by Fox Lake Investments LLC.

“These sign variances drive me nuts,” Moore said. “How big do they have to be? I just wish we could stick to the books and go with that. I know we’re not because that gate is open and that dog is out and running.”

The shopping center is proposed to be south of Fox Lake Lane on the west side of Interstate 35, Moore said. The Sam’s Club Warehouse is to the south of this platted area, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner. A driveway will serve the shopping center where the temporary Mercy Clinic is located.

The proposal is to build a 23,700-square-foot shopping center with 12 tenants on the northern piece of the greater commercial properties, Schiermeyer said.

“The pad sites as long as it’s a shopping center will have their own ground signs,” Schiermeyer said. “They’ll qualify for those under the sign code.”

This two-sided sign is 350 feet from Fox Lake Lane, Schiermeyer said. The names of the tenants would be between two poles.

Troy Downing with Richard Brown and Associates Architects requested a 151.6-square-foot sign variance of 29 feet in height. The standard allowance for the sign that is permitted on the I-35 corridor is a 60-square-foot sign, 25 feet tall, Schiermeyer said.

“That was kind of the argument with the issue that came up with Sam’s,” Schiermeyer said. “We have a big tract of land and big square footage building, but we don’t have a big sign.”

The variance request has the same square footage as the Sam’s Club sign that was approved by the Edmond City Council in 2012, Schiermeyer said when asked by Commissioner Bill Moyer. Sam’s Club was granted a variance for a 50-foot-tall sign.

“The only thing I’d like to add is we’ve brought this down to the I-35 Frontage Road so we can get some more signage for these tenants …,” Downing said. “We’re just trying to get visibility for these tenants to make them survive in the back of the shopping center.”

Commissioner Rob Rainey asked Schiermeyer if he foresees any potential issues with a sign variance setting a precedent for future developments on the I-35 corridor.

“I don’t think it’s a dangerous precedent because it’s that narrow frontage,” Schiermeyer said.

Fox Lake resident Deborah Reisweber asked the city not to allow a variance from its code allowing a maximum 60-square-foot sign that is 25-feet tall. Her neighborhood association does not want the frontage road view cluttered with signs, she said.

“With the multitude of businesses there, this is a different situation than Sam’s,” said Mark Hoose, commissioner. “It appears to be a good solution versus having to put the multiple signs for every single location.”

This item will go before the City Council on July 14. | 341-2121

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