Oversized hotel signs meet resistance
A new hotel that already will exceed Glenwood Springs’ normal height limit is running into resistance in its developers’ effort to put up oversized signs as well.The owners of the AmericInn Hotel at the base of the tramway serving Glenwood Caverns want to put up 304.7 square feet of wall signs, in excess of the 210 square feet the facility is allowed under the city’s sign code.They also want to put signs on the two sides of the hotel, to better catch the eyes of passing motorists on adjacent Interstate 70. But those sides don’t qualify as building frontages where signs are permitted.Attorney John Schenk, on behalf of Jones Sign Co., has asked for two variances from the city’s sign code. City planning staff recommended denial, and the city Board of Adjustment and Appeals rejected both requests on 3-2 votes. Council is scheduled to consider an appeal of the board’s decision Thursday night.City planning staff and the Board of Adjustment and Appeals held that the variances would give the hotel an unfair advertising advantage over other lodging establishments, and detract from the city’s character and aesthetics, to the detriment of local residents and businesses.In a memo, assistant planner A’Lissa Gerum cited the negative reaction from some city residents to the Target sign at Glenwood Meadows.”Partly this seemed due to its visibility from residential neighborhoods. Partly it also seemed to be due to a reaction to inconsistency with the community character,” she wrote.She also notes that the AmericInn will be highly visible, being next to I-70 and 60 feet tall. That’s 25 feet higher than the city normally allows. The hotel received a height variance on the developers’ representation that it would be a city landmark.”Large signage may detract from the visual quality of that landmark,” Gerum wrote.In a written response to the city, Schenk said if the hotel is allowed to put up 94.7 extra square feet of wall signs, it would surrender its right to erect a corresponding amount on a detached pole sign. He said it’s also unfair to compare the AmericInn’s sign allowances with those of hotels on Sixth Street because they are in different city sign districts, and the AmericInn’s district allows for larger signs.Schenk maintains that the AmericInn’s situation also is unique in that, unlike other area hotels, its rear wall faces I-70, a result of the configuration of lots in its subdivision.”All other hotels in this commercial sign district face I-70 and are thus able to use all wall signage and detached signage to maximum advantage,” he wrote.He also welcomed the city’s comparison of the proposed hotel signage to the Target sign.”If the sign code allowed the Target sign, how will the welfare of residents be detrimentally affected by this sign?” Schenk wrote.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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