Event sign request tabled

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Does the city need another message board sign dedicated to publicizing non-profit events and activities?

That question came before the Plan Commission Thursday and the group tabled the issue for more research.

The request came from Ty Struve, owner of Struve Plumbing and Heating at 633 Eastern Ave.

“Being a new business owner, I’d like to keep giving back to the community and advertise for things that are going to benefit the community,” Struve told the commissioners.

He explained that he wants to attach a changeable message board to the freestanding pole sign at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Collins Street.

“My sign would be free to the public to use, as long as it was for something that’s going to help out the community,” Struve said.

Building Inspector Pete Scheuermann told the commission that the city’s sign ordinance does not allow signs for off-premise advertising. “You can’t advertise anything that isn’t occurring there,” on the premises, he said.

It was pointed out that a similar freestanding message board sign for public events already stands across the street from Struve’s business in Veterans Park, next to the Mill Pond.

Neither commission members or city staff could say whether that sign was in place before the current sign ordinance was adopted or had been granted a variance by an earlier Plan Commission – although it was noted that it is on city property.

Beyond that, several on the commission expressed concern about the potential for future abuse of another message sign if it is permitted.

“I’m sure your intentions are good to keep it for community events, but if we were to grant this we would have no control over who can advertise,” on the sign, commission member John Nelson told Struve.

“When you go down that road of good intentions and exceptions, the next step is the ‘me-too’ crowd. How do we say no to the next one,” Mayor Donald Pohlman commented.

“I’d like to know more about that one that’s on city property across the street, how that happened,” Pohlman asked.

An expansion of the parking lot at the 23/57 mall at 540 Walton Drive was approved by the commission.

Joe Bronoski of Abacus Architects explained that one of the tenants of the strip mall requested additional parking from the mall’s owners.

The existing lot will be expanded to the east, adding about 46 new parking spaces. Bronoski said that pole lighting matching existing lighting on the lot will be added.

A new accessory building/concession stand at the Plymouth High School baseball diamond won commission approval.

Andrew Nass explained that space for equipment storage and concessions sales is needed at the baseball diamond.

The building will have no water or electrical service, Nass said, although that could be extended to it in the future.

An accessory building addition, at the Richter Professional Building at 710 Eastern Ave., was also approved by the commission.

Dr. James Richter, owner of the building, explained that the addition would be off the back of the existing garage on the property to provide additional storage space.

The commission approved a certified survey map in the town of Plymouth, in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction area, that clears the way for development of a proposed tournament golf lodge in the town.

Also approved was a well house for the city’s new well house #17, located on County Z in the town.


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