ZC September 23, 2009

On September 23, 2009 the Newbury Township Zoning Commission (ZC) held their regular monthly meeting in the upstairs meeting room of Newbury Town Hall. Alice Munn called the meeting to order at 7:26 p.m. with Bill Skomrock Sr, Lou Tomsic, Carolyn Paschke, Jerry Hudak, Judd Douglas and Bob Ruckstuhl present.  The minutes of the July 22, 2009 were approved and signed.  The regular August meeting had been cancelled.

 

Alice introduced Brian Howe , representing Daktronics, and suggested the group reconvene outside to view the electronic sign demo unit in the parking lot.  Brian illustrated the programmable features on the 5 ft. x 8 ft. mobile unit for letter size, colors, message content, scroll duration, brightness and auto mode for night-time dimming.  He gave estimated costs between $5000 and $50,000 with an average of $22,000 per side.  The LED’s have an estimated life of 100,000 hours so a sign should last 10 to 12 years.

 

Discussion continued regarding adjustable controls for message height per line, scroll speed and photocell auto-adjust for brightness.  Some plexi-shields for vandalism protection have been used.

 

Carolyn said that Newbury basically had only two highway intersections, Rts. 87 & 44 and Rt. 87 and Auburn Rd., where signs might impact traffic safety for vehicles traveling at 50 mph.  Bob asked about liability for accidents caused by distracted drivers.  Karen’s concern was distraction of signs too close together.  Maintenance by the sign company and durability were also topics; Brian said his demo sign held up well in use for 3 winters and took more abuse than any stationary sign.

 

Brian agreed that the simple message, KISS principle, was most effective with a typical 3 to 4 ft. high x 8 to 10 ft. long sign, a minimum 5” letter size and an average 5 to 6 sec. message repeat.  He said studies showed e-signs improved business, was good for similar counties and agreed it was best to set up regulations first.  Should e-signs be included for all zoning districts?  He described repairs could be made by popping out and replacing the damaged matrix section.

 

Lou confirmed that the LED’s power use was much less than incandescent bulbs, they were warm not hot to the touch, thus more efficient and prolonged the life of the signs.  Discussion continued regarding measurement by foot-candles as a more accurate indicator as viewed by the human eye.  Standards and enforcement may require additional equipment and personnel training.

 

Carolyn said that brightness should be reviewed by the BZA for the Conditional Use.

Karen asked about compliance on state highways.  David Snively said he would call ODOT and the county for info.  Mobile and temporary sign use was questioned.  Brian distributed flyers to all describing brightness and measurements.

 

Jerry Hudak summarized the need for e-sign wording: size, brightness, flashing cycles, colors, photo-cell control and message duration - an 8 sec, min.

 

Alice Munn suggested a need for two e-sign tiers: a simple allowable permit by the ZI vs. a Conditional Use via the BZA.  She asked all members to work on appropriate wording for the next meeting. 

 

She asked if any were interested in attending the two upcoming seminars: in Columbus on Oct. 30 and in Westlake on Nov. 13.  Registration was filling up.

 

The next regular Zoning Commission meeting will be on October 28. 2009 at 7:15 p.m.

 

Alice commented that the BZA variance for Geauga Feed allowing the covered porch/overhand had resulted in a great improvement to the front of the old Newbury Hardware building. 

 

Bob Ruckstuhl moved to adjourn the meeting, Lou Tomsic seconded with a unanimous vote.

 

The Zoning Commission meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.