Thursday, 19 October 2006 01:52

Martell Area Commercial Sign Proposals Continue To Take Planning Commission Time

Amador County Planning Commission MeetingRequests from various businesses within the booming Martell area dominated discussions at this week’s Amador County Planning Commission Meeting. One item that appeared on the agenda was a request for a use permit to exceed the height limit for a freestanding sign. The sign proposed was 40 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The sign would be the advertisement for the new Harley Davidson store and would be located at the intersection of Prospect Drive and Old Mill Lane, within the Sierra West Business Park in Martell.

Current RegulationsAccording to the current sign regulations a “freestanding sign is not to exceed the highest point of the subject property, or 30’, whichever is less.” The building that will house the Harley Davidson Store will be stand just over 30 feet according to the staff report. The staff report also states that the total signage allowed on any premises is either 15% of the building frontage, or 250 square feet. Because of the size of the proposed Harley-Davidson store, 15% of the building frontage will far exceed the maximum of 250 square feet, so that means the maximum allowable signage would be 250 square feet. County regulations also allow permit a freestanding sign to be 1/3 of the total signage on site. Therefore 82.5 sq. feet would be the maximum allowed by code on a freestanding sign- that is one third of 250 sq ft. Based upon this and further information staff made a recommendation to the Planning Commission not to approve the proposed sign.

County RegulationsCounty staff then visited the site and reported that due to the stores close proximity to the highway a sign of this size, 400 sq ft, is not needed. They also took into consideration a driver’s ability to see a sign from the highway and determined that the sign was still too large. Staff then suggested that the applicants place walls signs on the east, north and south sides of the building, which they believe would be just as effective for advertising purposes. This option, according to county staff, would allow the applicant more square footage for on-site signage however they still would have to remain within the County’s sign regulations. Ultimately, the owners of the new store decided to accommodate the county’s request, agreement was reached and the signs approved. A second sign in the same general vicinity then became the next issue before the Planning Commission. An entry sign for the Amador Ridge Shopping Center was a hot topic again at the meeting. Previously, Catlin Properties, developer of the shopping center, had applied for a Use Permit pursuant to the Special Sign Programs provision in the County’s sign regulations. The request was approved by the Planning Commission with the exception of the proposed monument entry sign. The applicant had submitted a request for the sign, which was originally deemed unacceptable.

Catlin Properties then resubmitted a new proposal for the monument entry sign for the Commission’s consideration. The proposal consists of a 22 foot wide by 20 foot high sign that will be located in a landscaped arbor. According to county staff, the sign, proposed as is, does not exceed the maximum height limits allowed for freestanding signs because it is no taller than the highest point of the roof line. The sign also is located out of the county’s required clear visibility area for Hwy. 49. Staff also confirmed that the proposed sign would conform with the county’s performance standard for illumination and for all these reasons that the Commission approve the resubmitted application.

Staff Amador Ridge Shopping Center Amador Ridge Shopping Center