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Tree plea backfires at Board of Adjustment

Friday, January 22, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

An attempt to get a taller sign for a carpet store on Anderson Lane found no success at the most recent Board of Adjustment meeting, when board members were reluctant to help avoid a tree.

The board voted 7-2 to deny the variance, with board members Eric Goff and Melissa Hawthorne voting in opposition.

Jim Bennett spoke on behalf of A. Bonanchi, who was seeking a variance that would allow for a 35-foot-tall sign for Bijan Rugs, which is located at 2901 West Anderson Lane. Bennett explained that the current sign is blocked by a tree on the property of the neighboring Chevron station. That tree, said Bennett, is preventing the sign from being seen by anyone traveling east, “until (they) get right in front of the business.” Westbound traffic faces the same problem with a different tree.

Bennett said that, as a result, there was no opportunity to advertise the business until someone was right in front of it.

The existing sign is 30 feet tall, and Bennett assured board members that, with the boost, “our sign will clear that tree by 5 feet.”

Though some board members doubted that would be the case, they ultimately settled on a bigger problem with the request.

Board Member Brooke Bailey pointed out that “the tree is going to continue to grow.” She added, “I don’t understand how this is a solution for the long-term. I would want to lower it, honestly, to get it under the canopy.”

Board Member Rahm McDaniel agreed with this proposal. He also suggested that having signage closer to the driveway could fix the problem. He worried that, as the tree continued to grow, so might the sign height.

“I don’t know what will happen in five years,” said Bennett, who explained that lowering the sign meant it would be blocked by a Chevron sign. Bennett said that they had explored the possibility of moving the sign closer to the street, but there was an easement preventing that solution.

“If you move it to the left, it doesn’t do any good. If you move it to the right, it really doesn’t do any good,” said Bennett. “I think it certainly needs relief.”

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