Minutes              Board of Zoning Appeals              May 31, 2017


Board of Zoning Appeals                            May 31, 2017

Special Meeting              Minutes              5:30 PM

Call to Order

Attendee Name



Michael Percy



Christopher Menapace



Mary-Anne Pomputius



Steve Rhoades



Todd Burson

Alt. Member


Phil Herald



Jim Sulzer

Alt. Member


Others in attendance: Lacie Blankenhorn, Development Services Manager; P. Rob Broeren, Law Director; Chuck Martin, Mount Vernon News; Jim Sulzer, BZA Alternate; Russ White, Aldi; Stan Young, Aldi


Minutes Approval

-          Board of Zoning Appeals - Board Meeting - May 3, 2017 5:30 PM

RESULT:              ACCEPTED [5 TO 0]

MOVER:              Mary-Anne Pomputius, Member

SECONDER:              Michael Percy, Vice-Chairman

AYES:              Percy, Menapace, Pomputius, Rhoades, Herald

ABSTAIN:              Sulzer

EXCUSED:              Burson

Public Portion

-          2017-BZA-08 : Coshocton Avenue, 1545 - Variance for Signage

Russ White (sworn in) - representing Aldi, Inc. explained the Mount Vernon location is currently in the process of expanding their existing store as they are doing in quite a few of their stores across the country.  He is the Real Estate Director for this region.  Along with the enlargement they are installing environmentally friendly fixtures and modern technology.  When complete, the store will have the new Aldi ‘tower’.  Their application is for a sign variance because their proposed package exceeds what is allowed by the City’s current code. 

Mr. Menapace, in order to clarify, asked about Aldi’s current sign package and if it is nonconforming. 

Mr. Broeren explained he believes the sign near the road was installed prior to current zoning and was therefore grandfathered in. 

Lacie Blankenhorn added that Aldi does have an existing variance from 1994 for the ground sign for overall size and height.  The wall mounted signs were within code of 45 square feet. 

Mr. White added they do not plan to do anything to the pylon sign other than change out the bulbs.

Mr. Broeren explained the size of the pylon sign should be included in the calculations for total signage for the site.  The fact that it is on a pylon is not part of today’s variance discussion. 

Mr. Percy asked for clarification, if Aldi wants to not only add “Food Market” signage but also increase the size of the wall sign cabinets by almost 30 square feet over the current wall signs cabinets.

Mr. White stated the new logos are 9’ 8” by 8’ (77.36 square feet).

Mr. Percy went on to clarify the new logos added with the Food Market signage and pylon sign would make total square footage over 300. 

Mr. Percy reviewed, the current sign package is 170.38 square feet and referred to code 1155.21(g).  The current package, although above the allowed 150 square feet, is well within 25% (187.50) of the 150.  The request is to increase to 304 square feet.  Discussion then turned to the number of signs.  The proposal, in addition to the pylon sign includes 2 Aldi logo signs and 2 “Food Market” channel letter signs.  He asked if Aldi could do away with one side or the other of the logo and channel letter signs or could Aldi eliminate “Food Market”.  By removing those square footages the request is more in line with what can be approved. 

Mr. White proposed leaving 1 Food Market sign on the side facing Coshocton Avenue. 

Mr. Percy proposed leaving the Aldi logo signs the existing size, adding the Food Market signs and replacing the pylon (pole) sign with a monument sign.

Mr. White explained they had not considered any changes to the pylon sign and after quick consideration would prefer to keep the pylon sign as it stands and give up the Food Market signs due to the cost involved.  He went on to explain he is most comfortable deleting the Food Market signs from the application. 

The Food Market signs made up 76 square feet of the 304 requested in the original ask bringing the new total to 228 square feet.  (2 wall sign cabinets @ 76 square feet each + existing pylon (pole) sign @ 76 square feet.) 

Mr. Menapace called for anyone in the audience to speak for or against as well as for any written submission.  There weren’t any. 


MOVER:              Michael Percy, Vice-Chairman

SECONDER:              Steve Rhoades, Member

AYES:              Percy, Menapace, Pomputius, Rhoades, Herald

ABSTAIN:              Sulzer

EXCUSED:              Burson

Letter to Council

Mr. Menapace read a letter he penned to Safety-Service Director Joel Daniels…

As chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), I request that you facilitate a work session involving all members of the BZA, Mrs. Vail, Mr. Broeren, yourself, and any other interested individuals.

The purpose of this work session will be to identify certain sections of the current zoning code that have become antiquated or impractical relative to the growth and development within our community.  Time and time again, the BZA has been thrust into an unnecessarily impossible situation that requires our reconciliation of the code to the request that is being made by a member of the business or residential community.

Alterations and overhaul of certain sections of code could provide a broader and more applicable set of parameters for City officials to utilize as they attempt to attract additional members to our business community and make it much easier for members of the general public to develop their home, property, or business without being forced to appear before the BZA.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.  Also, please let me know if you wish for me to speak with Mrs. Vail, other members of City Council, or City Administration in order to better explain the necessity for this work session.

City of Mount Vernon              Page 2              Updated 6/15/2017 1:57 PM