The Edmond Sun

October 9, 2012

Council OK's Sam's Club sign variance

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Sam’s Club was granted a variance request this week by the City Council for a 50-foot-tall ground sign with 150 square feet on both sides. The vote was 4-0.

Fifteen acres of property is in the process of being purchased by Sam’s Club from Jim Tapp to build a 138,000-square-foot store north of Walmart on the west side of Interstate 35.

The Planning Commission was originally presented with a variance request for a 70-foot tall sign with 500 square feet combining both sides, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner. Commissioners agreed in September to grant a variance for a 60-foot-tall sign with 150 square feet on each side.

Oklahoma City attorney Blaine Nice, representing Sam’s Club, said Sam’s wants to be a good neighbor in Edmond. He suggested the plan be modified by moving the sign west for a 20-foot setback as well as reducing the height to 50 feet with 150 square feet on both sides.

Residents of the Fox Lake addition spoke against the variance request at the Council, noting that Title 22 allows 25 feet in height with 60 square feet per side along the I-35 corridor. Another concern was the field of view of the sign from the 40 homes west backing up to the lake area beside the property.

Integris Health Edmond and Mercy Health Services both have 150-square-feet signs on both sides. The Mercy sign will be 60 feet tall, Schiermeyer said. Integris was granted a variance for its 150-square foot sign, but did not request extra height beyond 25 feet, Schiermeyer said.

Former Mayor Dan O’Neil argued that the sign’s size should be scaled down or it would open the door for Walmart to ask for a sign variance.

“This is not the type of facility where people are looking for Sam’s. They know they are going to Sam’s,” said  Dr. Tomas Owens, a resident of the Fox Lake addition.

City Councilman Nick Massey said I-35 is a major commercial corridor and transportation hub in the U.S. Growth in Edmond will bring commercial opportunities to change the face of Edmond, he said. Signage on I-35 is not the same as signage in a neighborhood, Massey continued.

“I think the future of Edmond and what this corridor means is being lost in the discussion when we consider that,” he said. | 341-2121