Coughlin seeks sign variance
By Rob Treynor
Can Coughlin Automotive’s sign double in size?
That was the question posited Tuesday night by the London Board of Zoning Appeals.
When the London’s zoning code was written in 2003, most pre-existing signs were given grandfather status. Any new signs would have to conform with the code, meaning that signs erected on poles would no longer be allowed, and the size of those signs would be subject to strict size limitations.
Coughlin Automotive’s 121 square foot sign, on a pole, was grandfathered in, making it a legal non-conforming sign.
Attorney Connie Klema, representing Coughlin Automotive, presented the London Board of Zoning Appeals plans to add a scrolling ‘bulletin board’ sign below the pre-existing Coughlin sign.
The new sign would also be 11-by-11 feet and hang from the same pole.
A discussion ensued with the three board members in attendance, and it was soon determined by the board that granting a new non-conforming pole sign could set an unwanted precedent.
“We would be willing to install the informational sign as second sign, in the monument style,” Klema said, seeking a compromise.
It was determined that since Coughlin sat on a corner lot, the code would allow for two signs on the property — one facing Lafayette Street, and another facing Keny Boulevard.
“We would be willing to approve a monument sign in addition to the pole sign,” board member Steven Douglas said, noting that it was within the board’s power to grant a variance so that both signs could face Lafayette Street.
“I’m in favor for what is being proposed,” board chairman Gary Peters said. “But without blueprints or an explanation of exactly where on the property this will go, we cannot vote on this today.”
Klema said that she would submit a formal request, based on the compromises made, so the board can vote on the variance at the Feb. 5 meeting.
• In other business, the board of zoning appeals elected Steven Douglas as the board’s chairman for the year. Board members Brenda Russell and Jane Beathard were absent and did not vote.