The Edmond Sun

Our View

May 3, 2011

Let there be light: Grocery store debate highlights sign needs

EDMOND — A few Edmond residents vocally disagreed with the City Council’s granting of a sign ordinance variance to a new grocery store coming to the city. One resident even came to the meeting with a hat outfitted with flashing, red lights in the back to demonstrate his displeasure about Uptown Grocery’s proposed sign.

The design of the new store concept for Buy for Le$$ is patterned after a classic New York warehouse district look, Susan Binkowski told the City Council. Binkowski represents Esperanza Real Estate Investments. The store will encompass 48,000 square feet of a proposed 71,000-sqare-foot building on 6.6 acres on Covell across from Mitch Park. The building will face west, away from Covell.

The 471-square-foot neon sign approved 3-1 by the City Council will be above the southeast corner of the building. City code normally would not allow a sign to extend above the 37-foot tall elevation of the building’s roofline.

While representatives of the Coffee Creek and Villages of Coffee Creek neighborhoods said they are pleased to have a new grocery store option, they are not in favor of the sign.

Binkowski told the City Council that the larger sign size is necessary due to the frontage of the store being located almost 1,000 feet from the corner of Covell and Kelly. The neon sign will be a quarter of a mile away from the nearest home, she told the council. Binkowski also agreed during discussion at the public meeting that the sign will be turned off after-hours.

Whether one agrees with the residents or not on the precedent of a neon sign in this area, the bottom line is that until the City Council updates the city’s sign ordinance this issue is going to continue to crop up.

The council created a Sign Ordinance Review Committee last year that continues to review how to update the 20-year-old ordinance. Dramatic technological changes in signage are challenging cities across the nation as they try to decide how much light may be too much, how much color might be too distracting and whether to allow the new digital signs like the one at the SONIC at Danforth and North Western Avenue.

The longer it takes to decide this issue, the more variances for businesses probably will be granted. Once they’re granted, they are grandfathered in for life whether we like them or not.

Determining how bright LED and neon lighting for signs in Edmond should be is a difficult discussion between the city and the business community, but putting off the decision only creates more problems for all involved. The discussion at City Council about the Uptown Grocery just highlights the need for updating the ordinance.

Hearing a business developer threaten to take a $13 million deal off the table over a disagreement about a sign is not how most people want to conduct business within our city — or for that to be Edmond’s image to those outside looking to make the city their new home.

1
Text Only
Our View
  • OUR VIEW: Bring ‘dark money’ into the light

    Several statewide races this primary season have tacked toward the negative as no candidate has appeared to have a clear majority ahead of today’s primary voting — particularly in the U.S. Senate unexpired term seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.

    June 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Schools should examine future lobbying efforts

    The Edmond Board of Education will have its annual summer retreat next week in which the members will gather to plan for policy changes for the next academic year. They also will look at the district’s overall goals as well as long-range planning for facility and program needs.

    May 27, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Don’t wait to improve reading

    One state representative wants to hold off implementing The Oklahoma Reading Sufficiency Act until more funding for the education reform is put in place by the Legislature.

    February 17, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Votes needed Tuesday

    Voters in the Edmond Public Schools’ District 4 seat will be asked to make a choice Tuesday at the ballot box.
    Running for Edmond Board of Education are Cynthia Benson and Stephanie Bills. This is for a five-year term of service on the board and replaces the seat vacated last year by longtime board member George Cohlmia. Bills was appointed by the Board of Education last spring to fulfill the remainder of Cohlmia’s unexpired term.

    February 8, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Consider storm shelter petition carefully

    Thousands of Oklahomans are expected to sign a petition seeking a state bond issue to pay for installing storm shelters in every Oklahoma public school. And after seeing the destruction wrought in Moore — again — we certainly support the need for school districts to vigorously pursue adding storm shelters to their buildings.
    However, the mechanism that we choose to pay for this endeavor needs to be carefully considered.

    November 18, 2013

  • OUR VIEW: Even one death by violence is too many

    A recent study highlights the rate of women killed by men in 2011. In this study, Oklahoma ranked third in the nation with 38 women killed that year by men, often their partners. In 2010, there were 27 women killed by men in Oklahoma.

    October 25, 2013

  • OUR VIEW: We’re tired of waiting

    Getting to a compromise before Thursday’s deadline to end the government shutdown and raise the nation’s debt ceiling may take more political willpower and guts than most in Congress currently have to give.

    October 14, 2013

  • OUR VIEW: Caudill should step down

    Oklahoma County Clerk Carolynn Caudill has apologized publicly for her actions. She takes the blame for her Sept. 17 DUI arrest and promises constituents that she will be better in the future.

    September 30, 2013

  • OUR VIEW: Thank you Supreme Court

    All Oklahomans received good news this past week when the state Supreme Court ruled that the University of Central Oklahoma can legally use the Master Lease program from the State Regents of Higher Education to pay for bonds to build a new Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office.

    September 28, 2013

  • OUR VIEW: Downtown needs homegrown vision

    Local developer Pete Reeser brought up an excellent question this week before the Edmond City Council.

    September 14, 2013