Zoning Board tables signage

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By Sal LaFata
Meridian Times staff writer

How much signage is too much in Meridian?

According to the Zoning Board of Appeals, more than 104 square feet of signage is too much.

On Wednesday, March 23, the Zoning Board of Appeals discussed new signs and additions to Graff Chevrolet.

Graff Chevrolet is located at 1748 W. Grand River, and is currently undergoing renovations and additions to its building. Now, Graff has three main signs on the building: a used cars sign, a service sign and a Graff Chevrolet sign.

According to the proposal brought up at the meeting, Graff Chevrolet would add an entrance vestibule to the store, with a new sign on it. The new entrance would be on the southwest corner of the building, facing Grand River Avenue.

New vestibule to be added to Graff Chevrolet

Graff would also replace its service sign with an updated version. In addition, other signs on the building would be updated and moved slightly.

Troy Vanschoik, parts manager for Graff Chevrolet, explained that the new signs would all be illuminated, whereas only a portion of the current signs are illuminated.

Currently, Graff has about 75 square feet of signage on its building. Under the new proposal, the size of the signs would increase dramatically.

“Generally, our criterion for allowable signs is equal to or less than the number of feet width of the wall facing the frontage street. So I am very concerned about this overage,” said Lynn Ochberg, township board representative.

The dimensions of the new signs were a big hurdle for the board to overcome. Graff Chevrolet would be increasing the amount of signage on its building from 75 square feet, to about 111 square feet.

“The signs that are proposed in the plans are actually required to us by General Motors. This is a plan that they are doing with all their dealers across the country,” said Vanschoik.

Even though it is a requirement from General Motors, the board was still reluctant to approve the plan.

“The reason we are focused on the 104 square foot of signage is that by right, if you were to have one sign on the building facing the road, you’d be allowed 104 foot of signage,” said Brian Beauchine, zoning board member.

The board agreed that the design of the remodeling is very nice, but the sizes of the signs are questionable.

After debating the topic, Ochberg motioned to table the debate until a later meeting, in order to give Graff Chevrolet time to discuss the plan with General Motors and come up with a solution.

Many solutions, such as changing the font of the signs, were offered to Vanschoik.

For now, the proposal is still in the works and should be brought back to the board promptly.

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