BLANCHESTER — Signage sizes in a village ordinance led to a lengthy discussion for Blanchester Village Council at its Thursday night meeting.
Councilmember Don Gephart read the planning and zoning committee’s meeting report in which they discussed signage for the new United Dairy Farmers (UDF) being constructed at the corner of Broadway and Cherry Streets.
Gephart read that representatives from UDF want to make sure the location was successful and drivers could see the gas prices. This led to a discussion about the size of the sign, the location of it, and landscaping.
“I have been really thinking a lot about this,” said Gephart after reading the report. “I think we need to look at our zoning, sign size, and match up with what the UDF originally requested.”
Gephart told Mayor John Carman and council he believes this due to the money UDF has spent in the village and the research they’ve done for what would be proper signage.
“They’ve had special people do studies and they know what’s effective,” said Gephart. “We have other businesses coming into Blanchester. It would be nice if we had something that would help these people be successful and be seen.”
Carman advised he doesn’t understand why they should change or give something to someone just because they “spend money.”
“Do we give them the same thing or do we say, ‘We have a zoning, you have to follow that’,” said Carman, referring to those that don’t “spend money.”
Councilmember Reilly Hopkins said he understood what Carman was saying, but highlighted aspects of UDF including that they own three buildings in the village.
“These people were more than willing to work on this. But there’s got to be some kind of respect you give to this business that’s come to this small village and put three buildings here,” said Hopkins.
He was also confused as to why this matter wasn’t brought to a council meeting to discuss and only discussed at a committee meeting where the members were appointed by Carman.
Gephart said he wanted to have this discussion since UDF has hired professionals to study what signage will be the most beneficial.
“The whole point I’m trying to make here is that we need to look at our zoning sign size and see if we shouldn’t be using something similar to what (UDF) recommended,” said Gephart.
Hopkins motioned that Gephart and Village Solicitor Katie Wilkin work on a proposal for a sign ordinance and then bring it to the next council meeting.
Carman believes they don’t need to be “so urgent” since they are working with the UDF personnel and they have also been working with county personnel.
No official motions were made to change the village’s zoning sign code.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574