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2011-169-1562 - Z-113 - Application of Warren Henry Automobiles Inc City of Miami Gardens Zoning Agenda Memo Zoning Board Meeting Date: October 5, 2011 Item Type: (Enter X in box) Resolution Ordinance Other X Fiscal Impact: (Enter X in box) Yes No Ordinance Reading: (Enter X in box) 1st Reading 2nd Reading x Public Hearing: (Enter X in box) Yes No Yes No X Funding Source: (Enter Fund & Dept) Advertising Requirement: Yes No x Contract/P.O. Required: Yes No RFP/RFQ/Bid #: X Strategic Plan Related: Yes No Strategic Plan Priority Area: Enhance Organizational Bus. & Economic Dev Public Safety Quality of Education Qual. of Life & City Image Communication Strategic Plan Obj./Strategy: X N/A Sponsor Name: Dr. Danny Crew, City Manager Department: Planning and Zoning Department Short Title: RESOLUTION NO. 2011____ A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED BY WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILES, INC., TO WAIVE SECTION 34‐567(2) OF THE CITY’S LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS (“LDRS”) RELATING TO MONUMENT SIGN STANDARDS TO ALLOW TWO (2) 2) EXISTING FREESTANDING SIGNS TO REMAIN AS POLE SIGNS; REQUESTING A VARIANCE OF SECTION 34‐667(1) OF THE LDRS TO ALLOW THREE (3) FREESTANDING SIGNS WHERE ONE (1) FREE STANDING MONUMENT SIGN IS PERMITTED; REQUESTING A VARIANCE OF SECTION 34‐667(1) OF THE LDRS TO ALLOW A JAGUAR SIGN TO BE 300 SQUARE FEET OF SIGN AREA WHERE A MAXIMUM OF 150 SQUARE FEET IS PERMITTED AND TO ALLOW A HEIGHT OF 30 FEET WHERE 15 FEET MAXIMUM HEIGHT IS PERMITTED; TO WAIVE SECTION 34‐670(2)(t) TO ALLOW AN ANIMATED JAGUAR CHARACTER WHERE ANIMATED CHARACTERS ARE PROHIBITED; REQUESTING A VARIANCE OF SECTION 34‐667(1) TO ALLOW A VOLVO SIGN OF 226 SQUARE FEET OF SIGN AREA WHERE A MAXIMUM OF 150 SQUARE FEET IS PERMITTED AND TO HAVE A HEIGHT OF 22 FEET WHERE 15 FEET MAXIMUM HEIGHT IS PERMITTED, FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 20800 NW 2ND AVENUE, MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON EXHIBIT “A” ATTACHED HERETO; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. ITEM 10-A) RESOLUTION PUBLIC HEARINGS Warren Henry Automobile Inc. Application Warren Henry Automobiles Sign Variance PH‐2011‐000068 2 | P a g e Staff Summary: Background In February 2008 the City adopted new sign regulations with an intent and purpose that the “display of signs should be appropriate to the land, building or use they identify. . . but not excessive. . . . . . to avoid excessive competition and clutter. . .” The sign regulations primarily apply to commercial centers and businesses along major roadways such as State Road 7/N.W. 2 Avenue which is classified as an Arterial roadway. A sign variance process allows the City Council to evaluate intent and purpose and situations the regulations cannot be complied with, or may not be practical. Current Situation The applicant, Warren Henry Automobiles, Inc. is a single use property located on N.W. 2 Avenue, a major arterial roadway. The sign regulations were specifically intended to be applied to uses adjacent to major roadways such as N.W. 2 Avenue. Warren Henry Automobiles, Inc. is requesting to maintain its’ two existing freestanding signs as designed as pole signs and to add a third sign designed as a monument sign and meeting all the size and height requirements of the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). The details of the signs are as follows: • The existing Jaguar sign is 30.0 feet in height and 300 square feet in area, and contains an animated jaguar character that is prohibited under the City’s LDRs. • The 2nd sign is the Volvo sign which is 22.0’ in height and 226 square feet in area. • The proposed third sign will be a monument sign design and 14.5’ feet height and 98.0 square feet in area in compliance with the City’s LDRs sign size and height regulations and is intended for the Fisker electric car brand. City staff has advised the applicant and agent it will be recommending modified approval of the Jaguar and Volvo signs; and approval of the third sign. Proposed Action: Staff is recommending denial of the application but would recommend approval if the Applicant agrees to the following: • Modification of the approval for the Jaguar sign to allow a maximum height of 15.0 feet with a sign area of 150 square feet and to allow the animated Jaguar character, • Modification of the approval to allow the Volvo sign to have a maximum height of 15.0 with a maximum area of 150 square feet, and • Approval of the third monument sign Attachments: • Exhibit “A”, Legal Description • Exhibit “B”, Staff Recommendation Warren Henry Automobiles Sign Variance PH‐2011‐000068 4 | P a g e EXHIBIT “A” LEGAL DESCRIPTION Warren Henry Automobiles Sign Variance PH‐2011‐000068 5 | P a g e EXHIBIT “A” LEGAL DESCRIPTION WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 EXHIBIT “B” STAFF RECOMMENDATION WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 STAFF RECOMMENDATION PH-2010-000068 APPLICATION INFORMATION Applicant: Warren Henry Automobiles, Inc. Property Location: 20800 N.W. 2 Avenue Property Size: 3.33 gross acres Future Land Use: Commerce Existing Zoning: PCD, Planned Corridor Development Requested Action(s): 1. To waive Section 34-567 (2), Monument Sign Standards, to allow two (2) existing freestanding signs to remain as designed; 2. Variance of Section 34-667(1), to allow three (3) freestanding signs where one (1) freestanding monument sign is permitted; 3. Variance of Section 34-667(1), to allow the Jaguar sign of 300 square feet of sign area where maximum of 150 square feet is permitted; and of a height of 30 feet where 15 feet maximum height is permitted; 4. To waive Section 34-670(2)(t), to allow an animated jaguar character where animated characters are prohibited; 5. Variance of Section 34-667(1), to allow the Volvo sign of 226 square feet of sign area where maximum of 150 square feet is permitted; and of a height of 22 feet where 15 feet maximum height is permitted. RECOMMENDATION: Staff is recommending denial of the application but would recommend approval if the Applicant agrees to the following: • Modification of the approval for the Jaguar sign to allow a maximum height of 15.0 feet with a sign area of 150 square feet and to allow the animated Jaguar character, • Modification of the approval to allow the Volvo sign to have a maximum height of 15.0 with a maximum area of 150 square feet, and • Approval of the third monument sign REVIEW AND ANALYSIS Neighborhood Land Use Characteristics Property Future Land Use Zoning Existing Use Site Commerce PCD, Planned Corridor New car dealership WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 Property Future Land Use Zoning Existing Use Development North Commerce PCD New car dealership South Commerce PCD New car dealership East Commerce PCD Shopping center West Commerce R-15 Unimproved, transmission tower The 3.33 acre property is developed with a new car dealership and service facilities. To the north and south of the property are also developed with new car dealerships and to the east across State Road 441 is developed with a strip shopping center. Abutting to the west is a large mostly unimproved parcel with a transmission tower and facilities. Project Summary/Background • Warren Henry Automobiles is a new car dealership with the Jaguar and Volvo brands at this location. • The existing free standing signage on the property consists of a dual pole sign design Jaguar sign 30.0 feet high with a large silver animated jaguar brand character mounted at the top of the sign. The second existing sign is a single pole design Volvo sign 22.0 feet in height. • A third sign is proposed for the Fisker electric car brand that will be monument in design and 14.5 feet high. • The City’s sign regulations require that by February 12, 2011 a Sign Plan approval be obtained and by Feb. 12, 2013 (five (5) years from adoption) all signage be in compliance with the approved Sign Plan pursuant to the regulations adopted on February 13, 2008. The applicant is not able to obtain sign plan approval without depicting signage that will be in compliance with the City’s regulation come 2013. The existing signage on the property does not comply with the City’s 2008 adopted sign regulations. Zoning History Miami-Dade County Zoning Appeals Board approved Resolution No. 4-ZAB-341-93 granting a non-use variance of sign regulations to allow a second detached sign with an area of 65 square feet where one detached sign was permitted. This approval allowed a Volvo sign as the second sign on the property. Consistency with City of Miami Gardens Comprehensive Development Master Plan The requested waivers of the sign regulations do not impact or change the use or the development on the property in a manner that is inconsistent with the Commerce designation of the property in the Future Land Use Element of the of the City of Miami Gardens Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP). The CDMP’s Community Vision states as a Medium overall rating under Physical Development and Improvement: “1i. Need better signage citywide and on major routes.” The Suggested WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 Modified Implementation Priority and Statements further state: “. . . Freestanding signage should be eliminated in favor of small monument signs coordinated with building architecture. . .” Conclusion: The request is not inconsistent with general objectives and policies of the Future Land Use Element of the CDMP. However, the request is inconsistent with the Community Vision which is an adopted part of the CDMP. Zoning Review and Analysis In evaluating the request consideration is given to purpose and intent of the sign regulations. “Section 34-649 – Purpose and intent” states: “(a) These sign regulations and requirements are the minimum requirements to promote the public health, safety, comfort, good order, appearance, morals and general welfare, and to protect the character of residential, business and industrial areas throughout the city, and to conserve the taxable value of land and buildings and to protect the character and maintain the stability of residential, business, and industrial areas within the city and to promote the orderly and beneficial development of such areas. The display of signs should be appropriate to the land, building or use they identify and be adequate, but not excessive, for the intended purpose of identification or advertisement. (b) Unless otherwise prescribed herein, signs placed on land or on a building for the purpose of message display, identification or for advertising a use conducted thereon or therein shall be deemed to be accessory and incidental to subject land, building or use. With respect to signs advertising business uses, these regulations are specifically intended to avoid excessive competition and clutter among sign displays in the demand for public attention.” In granting of the waiver consideration is given to the on how the request is evaluated: “Section 34-656 – Variances and waivers” states: Whereas it is the attempt of this sign code to reduce the proliferation of the number, size and types of signs, and whereas it has been determined that less-obtrusive signs will ultimately lead to a healthier economy within the city, therefore no sign shall be permitted to be installed, altered, erected, constructed, posted, painted, maintained, or relocated, contrary to the provisions of this article unless a variance or waiver is approved by a majority vote in favor of granting such a variance and waiver by the members of the city council. (1) A decision to grant a variance or waiver must be in conformance with the following criteria and procedure: a. WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 There is something unique about the building or site configuration that would cause the signage permitted by this article to be ineffective in identifying a use or structure that would otherwise be entitled to a sign. b. The grant of a variance or waiver is not contrary to the plan and intent of the sign code or any adopted redevelopment plan or policies, the aesthetics of the area, and does not create a nuisance or adversely affect any neighboring properties. c. The sign provides certain aesthetics, landmark recognition, or public benefit that is in the best interest and general welfare of the city, without detrimental impacts to the surrounding area.” The applicant’s request to waive the design standards of monument signs along a principal arterial roadway (N.W. 2 Avenue) are intended to retain existing signage. The existing Jaguar double pole sign does not comply with the monument sign design requirements, and exceeds the maximum 15.0 feet allowable height at 30.0 feet, and exceeds the maximum allowable area of 150 square feet at 300 square feet in size. The Jaguar sign also contains an animated Jaguar character mounted at the top of the sign which is prohibited by the sign regulations. The existing Volvo single pole sign does not comply with the monument sign design requirements and exceeds the maximum allowable 15.0 feet height at 22.0 feet, and exceeds the maximum allowable square footage allowed of 150 square feet at 226 square feet in size. In evaluating the request and considering the purpose and intent and the criteria for granting the waiver of the monument design standards as noted above, a specific condition cannot be identified that would be in conformance with the criteria for granting the waiver of the monument sign design standards. The property is located and situated along N.W. 2nd Avenue consistent with other car dealerships, retail, and commercial uses with visibility from the heavily travelled major arterial. The existing pole sign design are the type of signage that were specifically excluded in the City’s sign design standards as with sign heights over 15.0 feet along N.W. 2nd Avenue for the reason of preserving the purpose and intent of the new sign regulations. Other uses along N.W. 2nd Avenue have complied with the sign design standards without detriment. The applicant is proposing a third sign that is in compliance with the monument sign design standards, height, and area requirements. Staff acknowledges the importance of brand recognition, especially in the new car business, however in keeping with the purpose and intent of the sign code, more specifically “these regulations are specifically intended to avoid excessive competition and clutter among sign displays in the demand for public attention.” The existing height of the both the Jaguar sign at 30.0 feet and the Volvo sign at 22.0 feet far exceed the allowable height of 15.0 feet. Notwithstanding, staff is supportive of a reduction of the Jaguar sign to 15.0 feet and modified to to comply with the monument design standards. With the modification, staff can support the animated Jaguar character, again, acknowledging that the Jaguar character is an important branding feature. A modified approval of the Volvo sign to comply with the monument sign standards and maximum height of 15.0 feet is also supported to maintain the second sign. With these modifications the third monument sign to brand Fisker is supported resulting in all three WARREN HENRY AUTOMOBILE SIGN VARIANCE PH-2011-000068 signs designed as monument types, not exceeding the maximum allowable height of 15.0’, and not exceeding the maximum area of 150 square feet, and though only one (1) monument sign is allowed on the property, allowing the three (3) signs would not overly clutter the property considering the property has 320 feet of frontage with the signs being more than adequately spaced from each other. Conclusion: The request to waive the standards and requirements of monument signs, the variance requests for sign heights and sign areas for the both the Jaguar and Volvo signs are contrary to the purpose and intent of the sign regulations and the criteria for granting the waiver have not been met. Notwithstanding, granting of the approval as modified to result in two (2) signs being monument in design and compliance with the height and area requirements would be consistent in keeping with the intent and purpose of the sign regulations and criteria for granting approval of the third sign and keeping the animated Jaguar character. Anticipated Facilities Impact The subject application pertains to existing signage and does not create additional impact upon public services and facilities. Public Notification/Comments In accordance with Section 34-46(d)(7)(a) of the City’s Zoning and Land Development Code, notification of the applicant’s requests was mailed to all abutting property owners to provide them an opportunity to comment on the application. No comments were received. (See Mailed Notice Radius Map, attached). Attachments: Letter of Intent Hearing Map-Zoning Hearing Map-Aerial Mailed Notice Radius Map Submitted Plans and Survey