Ocean View approves signage, additional parking

Last week, Fulton Financial Corporation was granted a variance from the Ocean View Board of Adjustment to allow for two wall signs and a freestanding sign with changeable copy area for their business located on Atlantic Avenue.

Phil Saunders of Sign Medix spoke on behalf of the bank, which had requested to place the freestanding sign, with the changeable copy area at 66 percent of the entire sign. The town code requires a changeable signage area to be no more than 50 percent of the total signage area.

The sign would also encroach 6 feet into the required front setback and 11 feet into other required property line setbacks.

Saunders said that the dual-face sign would face Atlantic Avenue and Route 26, and it would be situated on a triangular grassy area to the east of the bank, which would also have a flagpole and bench.

“The sign is low enough so that it won’t be a problem for visibility. You will be able to see over the sign,” said Saunders. “With the renovations to the bank, it would enhance the property.”

Saunders said the freestanding sign’s messages would be controlled off-site, and would be brighter during the day and dimmed at night.

Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader asked if the Town could request the bank to display community-oriented events, evacuation information or information of a similar nature.

“The bank is willing to put on any community event that you would like,” replied Saunders. “All you would have to do is ask the bank.”

BoA member Bill Olsen said he was wary of granting the variance, for fear that other businesses might follow suit.

“The problem I’m having is this sign being so big, the message part. I’m afraid everyone else on 26 will want a message sign [as big].”

“If we don’t build this sign the same size as all the other signs, this will not take the information at all,” explained Saunders, adding that the bank believes it is a case of hardship. “Any smaller, and we can’t control the message being placed on the board.”

Charlie McMullen, director of public works for the Town of Ocean View, said that the applicants had reduced the overall size of the sign to keep it within the code requirements of 24 square feet maximum.

“Had they increased the size of the sign, then the changeable size of the copy area would’ve come in at 50 percent,” he explained.

The bank had also requested to place two wall signs measuring at 15.5 square feet above the door to the main entrance, as well as on the side of the building facing Route 26.

The board voted 3-0 to grant Fulton Financial Corporation all of the requested signage variances.

The Ocean View Planning & Zoning Commission also met last week, to review a site plan for 3 Atlantic Avenue, and granted the Morin family’s request to amend the business’s site plan to include additional parking spaces.

The Morins hope to have a secondary business on the parcel and plan to add to the existing building a coffee shop for takeout purposes only and an extension of Kitchen Cabinet and Corner.

McMullen said that, per code requirements, 17 parking spaces must be provided for the two proposed businesses.

McMullen suggested that the board also require proper signage at the lot’s entrance, as well as stop bars, to ensure traffic stops before exiting the parking lot.

The commission voted 5-0 to approve the site plan, and to maintain 17 parking spaces, with two 8-foot handicapped spaces.