Zoning Board of Appeals upholds Vision 2020 preferences; reduces number of signs allowed

The new McDonalds restaurant that will replace the existing building at 235 Lake St., across from the Lake Street Plaza will look much different than the current building, but the large golden arches sign at the street will not change.

The Penn Yan Zoning Board of Appeals approved a variance to the village sign code for the new restaurant, allowing the pole sign to remain unchanged and two golden arches at 14 sq. ft. each on the building. The entrance and exit signs at the street must not include the company logo.

The village code permits one pole sign and one sign on the building exterior, according to ZBA Chairman Steve Owens.

The company’s variance application had sought two signs on the building of the word “McDonalds,” the golden arches over the entrances, logos on the entrance and exit signs and a pylon sign with lighted message board. The revised plan was approved unanimously by the zoning board of appeals.

During the discussion of the plan, Mary Zelazny of the 2020 Vision Group said, “I just think it’s (five signs) too much signage.” She said if the large pylon sign was removed, the signs on the building would be acceptable. “We want our community to be nice. We want reasonable development. We want attractive development. We want Penn Yan to be nice.”

Last week, the Yates County Planning Board determined the unrevised variance would have a county wide impact, citing “sign pollution” as an emerging problem on Lake Street. That board also determined the site plan for the project will not have a county-wide intermunicipal affect. Representatives from McDonalds will present the site plan to the Penn Yan Village Planning Board March 5.

Other variance requests reviewed by the Penn Yan Zoning Board of Appeals include:

• Dollar Tree: Michael Manno of Clinton Signs presented an application for a variance that would permit a 31 ft. sign on the overhanging roof at the front of the store at 211 Lake St. where a Dollar Tree store is proposed. Current village code would permit one sign - either a pole sign or a sign on the store’s facade. A former pole sign frame is on the site. The Zoning Board of Appeals denied the application with a 1-3 vote. The Yates County Planning Board had determined the variance would have a county-wide impact.

• Bicycle, Kayak Rental: The ZBA denied a variance that would allow Andrew Zimmerman to operate a bicycle and kayak rental business from a barn in a residential district at 614 Liberty St. Owens said he doesn’t object to the business, but a variance is granted to the property, not the business. If Zimmerman, as a tenant, moved the business, the property could then be used for another commercial business.