Rowlett Planning and Zoning not in support of sign request

During Tuesday night’s Rowlett Planning and Zoning Commission meeting a public hearing was held to make a recommendation to City Council regarding a request by B5 Industrial Group, on behalf of property owner Simmons Development, for a Major Warrant to increase the allowable maximum wall sign size from 30 square feet to 126.33 square feet, on property zoned Form-Based Urban Village (FB-UV) District. The 2.21-acre site is located at 4604 Industrial St. This is for Camp Bow Wow, a dog daycare facility.

Carlos Monsalve, urban designer, stated that Section 5.41 of the Form Based Code (FBC) allows a maximum wall sign area of 30 square feet if it is located 12 feet or higher above grade. Prior to the adoption of the FBC, the subject property was zoned Mixed Use District, and permitted a maximum allowable wall sign area of 205.4 square feet. The property is developed with a building that was recently renovated for Camp Bow Wow.

The applicant requested a major warrant to increase the maximum allowable attached signage to 126.33 square feet or 4.2 times great than what is permitted on the front elevation of the building.

“The applicant has stated that the variance is to ensure visibility of the business to traffic along Lakeview Parkway,” Monsalve said.

According to the presentation, the condition would create further non-conformity within a strategic district and allow for signage that is no longer appropriate with the changing conditions of the area.

Notifications were sent out on Aug. 23 within 200 feet and 500 feet radius,  within 200 feet staff received two responses in favor and none against, and received no responses in favor or against within 500 feet.

The city staff recommended denial of the major warrant to increase the allowable maximum size for a wall sign from 30 square feet to 126.33 square feet as it creates further non-conformity within a strategic district and allows for signage that is no longer appropriate with the changing conditions adjacent to the subject property.

A representative speaking on behalf of the applicant stated that building is owned and not leased. They want the ability to brand their building and company with signage that is visible and tasteful. They’re also located next door to the animal shelter and could potential work together in the future.

The owner added that they also own the two properties next door and look forward to further developing those.

The commissioners supported staff recommendation that this be denied and cited that making an exception in this case would set a precedent for other businesses.

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