Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes January 18, 1995

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
JANUARY 18, 1995
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Eisenberg convened the meeting at 7:33 p.m.
ROLL CALL
Those responding to the roll call were:
Councilmember Shulman
Councilmember Montgomery
Councilmember Bennett
Councilmember Freytag
Mayor Eisenberg
Vice Mayor Marshall
Law Director Hurst
Manager Plunkett
Councilmember Bennett moved to excuse absentee Councilmember Garrett.
Seconded by Councilmember Freytag. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS
A public hearing was held on Ordinance No. 45-94, "An Ordinance To Amend
Chapter 1189 Of The Codified Ordinances Of Granville, Ohio, Establishing Sign
Regulations Providing For The Exemptions Of Certain Neon Signs From Permit
Requirements."
Larry Huey of West College Street stated that he opposed Ordinance No. 45-94.
He stated that when the zoning code was set up years ago, his purpose was to
preserve and protect the architectural review district. He stated that Woolpert, the
firm which rewrote the code in 1991, suggested inserting some styles that the Village
would be interested in preserving. Those styles included were colonial through 1800
to 1920. They also suggested that signs be consistent within the Village. Mr. Huey
stated that section 1161.05 (I)of the zoning code had been unchanged. He stated that
the code states that signs should be discreet. Mr. Huey stated that in his opinion, noble gas signs are not subdued and not consistent with other styles and the signage in Village. Mr. Huey stated that he did not think neon signs are appropriate to the look and feel of Granville.
Mr. Huey stated that Section 1189.05 (c)allows neon signs to be installed
everywhere in the Village.He stated that neon signs would be allowed in store front windows. He said that Section 1189.01, sign limitations, does not appear to lump temporary with total signage, thereby doubling area. He stated that he did not believe
neon signs were appropriate and Council would be opening the flood gates for neon signs everywhere by adopting this ordinance.
Carolyn Huey stated that Council should consider other historical places they have visited. She stated that signage is not something one can remember because it is strictly regulated. She stated that in her opinion. Granville fits in with that historical usage. She stated that in her opinion, Council should consider subdued colors when discussing illuminating signs and neon signs are not subdued. Karen Frasca stated that she supported the comments from Mrs. and Mr. Huey. She stated that businesses'main motive is to make a profit and profit comes
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before maintaining the beautiful Village. She stated that she is in opposition to neon
signs.
Robert Allen. proprietor of Brews Cafe, stated that he had owned his business
for two years and in that time, he had had only one complaint about his neon sign.
The complaint had come from Mrs. Huey. He stated that he had spoken to the late
Johnny Huffman concerning the historical area of Granville. Mr. Huffman had stated
that there once was alot of signage in Granville. Mr. Allen said that if one looks at the
Buxton Inn, there is much more illumination there than a neon sign would produce.
Mr. Allen stated that he liked the Buxton Inn and did not have a problem with its
illumination, however he was making a point. He stated that in the business he runs,
neon signs are appropriate and that he had asked residents if they felt that his neon
signs were obtrusive. Mr. Allen said that no one he'd asked had felt the signs to be
obtrusive. He pointed out that he had a red and yellow blinking light in front of his .
store at the crosswalk which is at least as obtrusive as neon signs.
Mayor Eisenberg asked Mr.Allen if he felt he would not sell beer if there were
not a neon sign in his window?
Mr.Allen stated that many people see the sign and come into his business as a
result. He stated that alot of people think that Granville is a "dry"town. He stated
before he bought the business there were beer cans stacked up in the windows. He
stated that he had not believed that to be necessary and took them out. He stated that
the sign is something to catch customers'eye to let them know what products are sold
inside. Mr.Allen stated that he did not want to offend the public, but that if a number
of people felt the signs were obtrusive and were not helping his business, he would
take them down. He stated that he did not feel that the public was really concerned
with neon signs because he had had only one complaint in two years.
Greg Ross of Welsh Hills Road stated that he was speaking on behalf of the IGA
and that he would like to keep beer signs in their windows. Mr. Ross stated that he
had not heard any complaints from the public concerning neon signs and he
wondered why it was a big deal now.He noted the neon sign that says "cinema"at the
Dension theater building. He stated that he feels that the majority of the public don't
care one way or another about the signs. He stated that Council is trying to regulate
neon signs today; tomorrow it may be pop machines, and that he would like to be able to keep the signs he has installed.
Adajune Parker stated that she did not have an opinion one way or the concerning other neon signs. She stated that she hoped that whatever Council decided would be the same for the entire Village. She stated that in her opinion, there should not be exceptions for certain people. She stated that she hoped that Council would act fairly and give everyone the same shake and not single out people. Greg Ream ofTaylors' Drug stated that if one looks across the street at the downtown, the merchants have done a good job at making·the downtown look good and that Granville is one of the few downtowns that look good. He stated that the downtown merchants are trying to live off their businesses and have done a good job at making the downtown nice and pleasing.
Mr.Ream stated that many people think that if one shops in Granville they are local residents and know where they are at. He stated that hardly a day goes by
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without a customer asking " where am I"when writing a check. He stated that there
are alot of new people in Granville and those people have got to know what the
businesses have to offer;the window signs advertise to let people know what is
available to them. He stated that business owners must make sure that people
continue to shop in the Village. He stated that if Village operators are not allowed to
show potential customers what they can do or get in the Village, the customers are
going to go elsewhere. Obviously, those customers don't know who he or who his
family are; they entered the store because they saw the prescription sign. Mr. Ream
said that in his opinion, eliminating neon signs would be a bit foolish. He stated that
in his opinion, neon signs do not need to be eliminated, and if Council thinks that the
slgns are not needed to do business, they are incorrect; his neon sign does draw
customers into the store.
Mr. Ream stated that he had recently opened the Crosswalk Cards store. The
company they buy recycling paper cards from had given them a neon sign to install in
the front of the window. He knew neon signs were an issue now, and chose not to
install the sign until after the debate was concluded. He stated that in his opinion,
signs should be based on whether you like them or not and not because of what they
are made of.He stated that neon signs are very important to the business owners and
they should not be totally eliminated. He stated that Council needed to keep Granville residents new in Granville, shopping in Granville. He stated that the signs help tell potential customers what stores have to offer.
Don Snelling, proprietor of Aladdin Restaurant, stated that he recently installed
an open"neon sign in the window of his business and had received notice that he
was in violation of the sign code. He stated that a similar sign had always hung in the front window and that the sign needed to burn at night to let people know that the
restaurant is open. In the past. he had customers say that they did not know the restaurant was there or that they were open at night until they saw the neon sign in the window.He stated that it is very important to have neon signs on at night; he did not think that he should be required to take down his neon o"pen"sign. Mary Bline, proprietor of Greystone Country House, stated that she was interested in the neon sign issue because she had attended a seminar for gift buyers where neon signs in the most elegant booths which were aesthetically pleasing had been displayed. She stated that the signs had been done differently, not overly bright, and aesthetically pleasing. She stated that in her opinion, Council could compromise and not totally do away with neon signs.
for Karen Frasca stated that she too agrees that there should be some compromise neon signs.
The public hearing on Ordinance No. 45-94 closed at 7:55 p.m.
A public hearing was held on Ordinance No. 46-94, A"n Ordinance To Amend Chapter 1305 Of The Codified Ordinances Of The Village ofGranville." No one appeared to speak for or against Ordinance No. 46-94. The public hearing closed at 7:56 p.m.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES
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Council Meeting Minutes
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The minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of January 4, 1995 were
presented for review. Councilmember Bennett moved to approve the minutes as
corrected. Seconded by Vice Mayor Marshall. Motion carried.
CITIZENS COMMENTS
Those signing the register were:
Larry &Carolyn Huey Robert Allen Donald Curtis
Brian Lindamood, Sentinel Gary Stansbury Karen Frasca
Doug Frasca Greg Ream Greg Ross
Don Snelling Mary Bline Susan Lamson
No questions, comments, or concerns were voiced at this time.
MAYOR'S REPORT
The Mayor's report for the month of December was presented for review.
Councilmember Bennett questioned the increase in speeding violations. He
stated that it looked to be a 300%increase in speeding violations compared to the
previous month and he wondered why.
Mayor Eisenberg stated that some months are quite low where others are high.
He stated that it was a natural variation which sometimes gives a false impression unless one looks at year end numbers.
Mayor Eisenberg.directed of the clerk to file the report.A copy is attached as part these minutes.
MANAGER'S REPORT
The Managers' Report for the month of December was presented for review. Councilmember Bennett asked why Owens Coming's water rate for 1995 was 2.38 per thousand gallons when the cost to produce the water was 2$.42. He stated that Owens Coming is one of the biggest water users and he would like to know why the Village would sell to them at a rate lower than what it is costing to produce? Manager Plunkett stated that the rates are based on the previous years production cost.He stated that the initial contract had been aborted in 1982 because it was costing more to produce water than Owens had been paying and the water system would have gone broke had that contract continued unchanged. He stated that now. the calculations are based on preceding years' costs. resolveMd ayor Eisenberg asked if the water meter issue with Alexandria had been yet.
Manager Plunkett stated that the new meter is installed, the old meter has ebenedn. sent to a company for testing.and Alexandria's bill will be adjusted at the year 1
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Vice Mayor Marshall moved to approve the Manager's report. Seconded by
Councilmember Freytag. Motion carried.
COMMITTEE REPORTS
Councilmember Shulman reported on the Tree and Landscape Commission
meeting. He stated that not much new business had been discussed. He stated that
he had relayed the maple tree discussion that had taken place at the last Council
meeting. He stated that the commission is continuing to restock sugar maple trees.
He stated that if one looks at the tree inventory report, there are 1620 trees in the
Village right of way and 578 of those trees are sugar maple trees. Mr. Shulman stated
that with the new tree and landscape ordinance in effect, the commission can now
review the landscape plans of new subdivisions to consider tree lawns and can
encourage the planting of maple trees. The commission had noted that Ohio Power
will be in the village trimming trees again this year.
Vice Mayor Marshall reported on the Planning Commission meeting of January
9, 1995. That meeting featured a worksession concerning splitting a13 acre lot NewarkG- ranville Road on into 4 separate lots. The Planning Commission had been in
favor of the lot split. It was determined that the lots around the area were similar in
size to the lots sizes proposed. There had also been a brief discussion on the list of
suggestions and ideas of Jurgen Pape.
Councilmember Freytag reported on the Old Colony Burial Ground Board
meeting of January 9, 1995. The volunteers have moved all the equipment into the
new building but there remains some question whether Newark Code Inspectors had
given final approval for the building. There was some discussion concerning planning for the summer restoration project. The preservationists from Massachusetts will
return twice this summer to further help restore the cemetery.The Board had made application for grant money to help fund some of the landscaping which has been sketched by Kirsten Pape. Minor items of discussion had been a gate in need of repair on the side of the cemetery, and the board had used up 3$0,000 of the 9$1,000 repairing approximately 500 of the stones. There were approximately 900 stones in need of repair.with some of them buried and hard to repair.Many of the stones remaining as yet unrepaired are the more difficult projects. It is not known if the 91,000 will be a sufficient amount to complete the project, however the majority of stones had been repaired.
OLD BUSINESS
Ordinance No. 45-94, A"n Ordinance To Amend Chapter 1189 Of The Codified Ordinances Of Granville, Ohio, Establishing Sign Regulations Providing For The Exemptions Of Certain Neon Signs From Permit Requirements, was reintroduced, title read,and moved for adoption by Councilmember Bennett. Seconded by Councilmember Montgomery.
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Councilmember Bennett stated that there had been considerable discussion on
this matter,and that he had not anticipated all the heat that the issue had brought.
He stated that the discussions had been educational for him. He had been
approached by the businessmen who were concerned that the current sign code was
beginning to take effect and the Zoning Inspector would now be enforcing potential
fines and requiring the removal of some signs, Mr. Bennett stated that he realized that
much time and effort had gone into putting the sign code together, but he had been
surprised at being told that he should not introduce a new ordinance. He stated that
he thinks the reasons businesses want to have neon signs are legitimate. and sees the
issue as a matter of free speech. He stated that in his opinion, in order for a body to
take that right away, there must be a compelling reason. He stated that he respected
the views that the signs offend Granville, but he doesn't see telling business owners
they have to take these signs down. He stated that it is the right of any business
owner to install signs. and he doesn't think that is irresponsible behavior. He stated
that there had been talk concerning grandfathering certain signs in the Village, and if
that were the case. why weren't other slngs going to be grandfatherd?
Village Planner Doug Tailford stated that Taylor's Drug Store's sign would be
grandfathered because the sign had existed before the zoning code was adopted. He
stated that before the new code had been adopted, temporary signs could be
displayed for a year.After the year expired, owners could take the sign down for a
day, then reinstall the sign and still would be abiding by the code. He stated that
neither he nor the previous zoning inspector had enforced the removal of a sign for day. Under the a new code. temporary signs can only be installed for 14 days each year. He stated that all temporary signs except Taylor's and Wendy's wall sign would have
to be removed. He stated that when Wendy's sign burns out. they would have to go to the planning commission for a decision before reinstalling the sign. Taylor's sign
could exist until it burns out or breaks, and then would not be allowed to be replaced. Councilmember Bennett stated that he did not think it was fair to enforce the
code because a few people in the Village didn't like neon signs. He stated that in his opinion, Council has b"igger ftsh to fry"than to enforce laws keeping little neon signs from being in windows.
Councilmember Montgomery stated that most of the people she had spoken to about neon signs had said what Councilmember Bennett had said n-eon signs are not that important. She stated that based on that, neon should be permitted with restrictions. She stated that her personal thought on the issue was that she had once thought Granville would never bea w- et"town. She stated that when with Granville became w" et"th,e community had to expect businesses to change and get neon signs that may or may not offend certain people. She stated that the code could be changed to allow some neon signs.
Vice Mayor Marshall stated that lf one drives up Rt. 40 to Reynoldsburg and continues to Whitehall, the signage in the area is terrible,with no restrictions. He stated that if one says that signs are minor aesthetics, they are wrong. He stated that 1 the signage in the Reynoldsburg area on Rt. 40. is dreadful.
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Councilmember Bennett stated that he agreed 100%but by having reasonable
restrictions, the Village can maintain control. He stated that the business owners
have spoken and they need signs. The signs are an integral part of their business.
Vice Mayor Marshall stated that he is not convinced that reasonable
restrictions would help control signage. In his opinion, it would open the flood gates
wide.
Councilmember Bennett stated that he would be willing to withdraw or table
the ordinance if Council agreed to proceed in good faith to come up with another
ordinance to address neon signs.He stated that the Zoning Inspector should hold off
on enforcement of the code until an amerided ordinance is adopted.
Councilmember Shulman stated that when the sign code was being prepared,
there had been several opportunities for the businesses to react. He. stated that the
sign code committee had consisted of a sign maker along with several business
community representatives. He stated that there had been several opportunities for
the public to comment, and in his memory. no one had spoken up and said that the
restrictions on neon signs were too great. Councilmember Shulman stated that the
sign ordinance had been introduced and six members of Council voted for the
ordinance. He stated that it was okay to revisit issues, but the public needs to be
encouraged to take part in the process. He stated that the issue had been well
publicized in the Sentinel. He stated that most of the neon signs were beer signs. He
stated that he is not against beer sales, but if the signs are encouraging people to buy
a six pack to go, he did not think that was something Council should be encouraging. He stated that of eight neon signs in the Village, five or six advertise beer.
Councilmember Bennett stated that he realized that the sign code committee
worked hard on the sign code. Unfortunately, no one speaks up on issues until
something starts to be enforced. Mr. Bennett stated that he would be happy to table
the ordinance if Council would go back and revisit the issue again.
Councilmember Shulman stated that until the matter is settled, no one should
be allowed to install new neon signs.
Mayor Eisenberg stated that he was torn on this issue. He stated that the issue
was very difficult to deal with. He stated that there was a town did not allow on Long Island which any off premises signs and it made for a beautiful community. He stated that there had been alot of improvement in downtown Granville over the years, and today the downtown is far more attractive than it had been twenty years ago. He stated that he did not think that-the business community had acted irresponsibly. He stated that the issue could be revisited one more time and perhaps Council could
come up with a formula for very strict control without totally disallowing neon. Councilmember Freytag stated that his view on the matter had not changed. He stated that he ls not convinced that all the points that the business owners have made were legitimate. He stated that Mayor Eisenberg had commented on how nice the town in Long Island had been where there had been tight regulations. He stated that in his opinion, prohibition on signs will help enhance the Village. He stated that siftaGteradnville looks like ovely other plag© in Ohio,who la going to come to Granvlll©tic? that visitors come to Granville because its nice and different. 1
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Councilmember Bennett moved to table Ordinance No. 45-94. Seconded by
Vice Mayor Marshall.
Roll call vote: Freytag no, Bennett yes, Montgomery yes, Shulman no, Gan-ett
absent, Marshall yes, Eisenberg yes. Two no votes, four yes votes, and one member
absent. The ordinance was tabled for further consideration.
Law Director Hurst asked if the Ordinance should go back to the committee.
He stated that Council should give some guidance on the issue to make certain
everyone working on the Ordinance is on the same path and are after the same goals.
Mayor Eisenberg agreed and suggested that the joint work session with the
Planning Commission be held to discuss the issue.
Ordinance No. 46-94, A"n Ordinance To Amend Chapter 1305 Of The Codified
Ordinances Of The Village of Granvillew,"as reintroduced, title read, and moved for
adoption by Vice Mayor Marshall. Seconded by Councilmember Bennett.
Roll call vote: Garrett absent, Shulman yes, Montgomery yes, Bennett yes,
Freytag yes, Marshall yes, Eisenberg yes. Six yes votes. one member absent.
Ordinance No. 46-94 was adopted.
NEW BUSINESS
Ordinance No. 2-95, " An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 44-94 Providing
For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 1995 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses,w"as introduced and its title read by Councilmember
Montgomery.
Mayor Eisenberg set the public hearing on Ordinance No. 2-95 for February 1, 1995, at 7:30 p.m.
Resolution No. 95-01, A" Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Advertise For Bids For South Main Street, East Broadway, And Shepardson West Sanitary Sewer Improvement Projectsw,"as introduced, read in full, and moved for
adoption by Councilmember Bennett. Seconded by Vice Mayor Marshall. Motion carried. Resolution No. 94-01 was adopted.
Resolution No. 95-02, A" Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Advertise For Bids For The Summit P/rospect Street Improvement Project,w"as introduced, read in full, and moved for adoption by Councilmember Shulman. Seconded by Vice Mayor Marshall. Motion carried. Resolution No. 95-02 was adopted.
Resolution No. 95-03, A"Resolution To Fill A Vacancy On The Board Of Zoning And Building Appealsw,"as introduced, read in full, and moved for adoption by Vice Mayor Marshall. Seconded by Councilmember Freytag.Motion carried. Resolution No. 95-03 was adopted.
CommRiesssoiolunti.o"n No. 95-04, A"Resolution To Fill Vacancies On The Planning
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Mayor Eisenberg stated that Council should defer action on Resolution No. 95-
04 until February 1 in order to get a recommendation from the school board on their
representative.
Councilmember Freytag questioned Where Council stood on the rules and
procedures for the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals?
Manager Plunkett stated that he had pursued the matter.
Law Director Hurst stated that some other issues had come up that had taken
precedence over the rules of procedure for the BZBA He stated that he would have
something on the issue in February.
Councilmember Montgomery stated that the school board had been conducting
their meetings on the same evening as Council. She stated that she did not think that
having both the Council and the school board meeting on the same night was a good
idea. She stated that there is no doubt that two important issues could be going the on same night,at the same time, at two different places. She asked Manager Plunkett
to contact the school board to see if they were going to continue meeting on the same night as Council.
Manager Plunkett stated that he had received a request from a Councilmember
requesting that the Council meetings start at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. Law Director Hurst stated that if Council continued to meet on Wednesday evening, 7:00 p.In. would be okay with him.
Councilmember Freytag stated that he would like to leave the start time at 7:30 P.m.
Mayor Eisenberg suggested that Council consider the issue and come up with a resolution on February 1. 1995. He stated that Manager Plunkett should mention the change to Councilmember Garrett so that she could have input on the matter.
Law Director Hurst stated that the court has entered a Judgment that establishing a schedule for those who want to see a temporary order come a permanent order.He stated that anyone wishing to enter supporting briefs may do so. The briefs are due to be ftled February 3, 1995. Anyone wishing to file opposing briefs must do so by February 17. Reply briefs are due February 24, and the matter is to be resolved by the judge through a non oral hearing on March 3, 1995.
Law Director Hurst stated that at this time, the Village of Granville, the County Commissioners, and Harrsion Smith. on behalf of the property owner, are involved in the issue. He stated that there is no consideration and no inquiries as to the judge or the court being inclined to waive any of the procedures. He stated that it was his intent,on behalf of the Village, to submit a brief on February 3 arguing to make the temporary order permanent.He stated that he did not anticipate any of the other parties to let the motion go unargued. He stated that to speculate at this point as to what set of arguments may be more aggressive and more difficult would be guess work. Me stated that he will bc providing copies of briefs as thcy are available.
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Councilmember Montgomery asked if Council was going to set a date for a joint
meeting with the Planning Commission to discuss the sign code?
Councilmember Bennett suggested waiting until Councilmember Garrett
returns, since she was the Council's representative to the Planning Commission.
Councilmember Shulman reminded Council that the Planning Commission was
about to get two new members.
Manager Plunkett stated that a date for the Joint meeting would be set at the
February 1. 1995 Council meeting.
ADJOURNMENT
Councilmember Bennett moved to adjourn the meeting at 9: 10 p.m. Seconded
by Vice Mayor Marshall. Motion carried.

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