Atlantic Beach Denies Two Requests for Sign Waivers
Requiring business owners to make their signs compliant with current laws.
The Atlantic Beach City Commission denied two requests from businesses asking for waivers from the city’s sign ordinance.
Atlantic Self Storage on Atlantic Boulevard was asking for a waiver change the top of its pylon sign to reflect the name of the business and add LED lighting to the sign. The new sign would have been slightly smaller than the existing sign.
But the Atlantic Beach sign ordinance requires that any change that affects more than 20 percent of a sign triggers a requirement to bring the sign into compliance with the ordinance, and the proposed sign does not meet the code. It would increase the illumination produced by the sign, and would not meet the height requirement for monument signs. The applicant argued that the taller sign is necessary because it is difficult to see due to the Atlantic Beach overpass.
But members of the commission agreed to a person that the the code needs to be followed, and with so many other businesses having either voluntarily or required to come into compliance, they should not grant a waiver to Atlantic Self Storage. Mayor Ellen Glasser cited the example of Monahan’s Jewelers, which was required to bring its sign into compliance at considerable cost when they remodeled their building on Atlantic Boulevard. “Talking about a business that’s been here for decades, and they had to comply at great cost,” Glasser said. “And at the time, I thought ‘well, maybe we should have a grandfather clause for these businesses that have been here for 70-80 years’. But we don’t have one. If we want one we need to add one when we fix this.”
The commission unanimously denied the waiver, as well as one requested by Hardees restaurant on Mayport Road, whose sign was damaged during Hurricane Irma last year. The sign’s panels were blown out by the storm, but no change to the height or illumination of the sign were planned.
Hardee’s estimated the cost of replacing the panels in the existing sign at $9,761.08, while replacing the entire sign to bring it into compliance with the sign ordinance will be in excess of $21,000.00.
But after denying the previous request for waiver, the commission had no interest in granting the second request, and it was also denied by a unanimous vote.