The Greendale Village Board approved a monument sign for Ruby Tuesday without sending the application to Planning Commission, an uncustomary action for the Village.
A number of Trustees argued with President John Hermes whether the 6-foot-by-6-foot sign should be sent to the Planning Commission.
An ordinance that was passed in 2005 allows Village Staff to approve signage, however, if staff feels that it needs to be further reviewed by the board then it can be sent to the board. Director of Inspection Services Scott Satula sent the sign to the board who typically sends it to the Planning Commission, he said.
Trustee Greg Turay said that it was unnecessary to send the sign to the Planning Commission and having it delayed for months.
Hermes argued it would set precedence for other businesses to request their own monument signs causing signage pollution down 76th street. He also said the ordinance was meant for normal and routine signage and a monument sign was not normal.
“The Village Manager has recommended referral,” Hermes said. “I recommend referral to the commission, because it is the historic nature of the Planning Commission to review these kind of things. To not do so it eliminates a very appropriate check and balance in government in our Village.”
Trustees Ron Barbian and Allan Sikorski argued that 76th street is Greendale’s business corridor and those businesses should be on the same fair playing field as businesses in other communities.
Satula warned the board that he would be getting a high volume of applications from businesses requesting similar signage.
“I want to get clear direction from the board, are we going to allow these types of signs?” Satula asked of the board. “Because I’ll have six more applications in the next year after we approve that one and I want to be consistent.”
Village Manager Todd Michaels said that similar situated properties like the upcoming DSW, Panda Express, Longhorn Steakhouse, US Bank and M&I Bank will be able to request similar signs. The single monument signage will be the new standard, he said.
Hermes also said that monument signs are best placed when it's multiple businesses using it rather than a singular business, such as signs in the Southridge Plaza and Southridge Mall.
Turay said, “I think our building inspection department has the tools to work with them…Let them have the opportunity to have a viable business.”
When asked by Village Trustee Jim Birmingham if this is a difficult sign for the Inspection Department to approve Satula said, “We purposely put a catchphrase in the ordinance for me to refer to the board if I was uncomfortable with what was being presented to us. If I thought it was too big, too gawdy, too colorful. I had an out in the ordinance to refer back to the board."
The board voted 5 to 1 to approve the Ruby Tuesday monument sign, with Hermes voting against it. Trustee Carl Genz was absent.