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2012-067-1662-Z-122 - Application of Interbond Corp. of America 1515 NW 167 Street, Building 5 Suite 200 Miami Gardens, Florida 33169 City of Miami Gardens Zoning Agenda Memo Zoning Board Meeting Date: May 2, 2012 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. 2012____ A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED BY INTERBOND CORPORATION OF AMERICA (BRANDSMART USA) FOR THE PROPERTY GENERALLY LOCATED AT 4320 NORTHWEST 167TH STREET, MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON EXHIBIT “A” ATTACHED HERETO, FOR A VARIANCE OF SECTION 34-667(1)(B)(C) OF THE CITY’S LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TO ALLOW A MONUMENT SIGN WITH A SIGN AREA OF 443.0 SQUARE FEET WHERE A MAXIMUM SIGN AREA OF 200 SQUARE FEET IS ALLOWED, AND TO ALLOW A SIGN HEIGHT OF 23.3 FEET WHERE A MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF 20.0 FEET IS ALLOWED; FOR A VARIANCE OF SECTION 34-658(2) TO ALLOW TWO (2) DIRECTIONAL/INFORMATION WALL SIGNS WITH A SIGN AREA OF 96.0 SQUARE FEET EACH WHERE A MAXIMUM AREA OF 8.0 SQUARE FEET IS ALLOWED; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. ITEM 10-A) RESOLUTION PUBLIC HEARING Application of Interbond Corp. of America Brandsmart USA Sign Variance, May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 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 and be adequate, but not excessive, for the intended purpose of identification or advertisement”; . . . 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.” The sign regulations were developed to be primarily applicable to the commercial centers and businesses along the City’s major roadways such as the Palmetto Expressway, N.W. 27 Avenue, and N.W. 2 Avenue which are classified as Major Arterials. A sign variance process was adopted as part of the regulations to allow the City Council to evaluate whether the intent and purpose of the regulations are being met in situations where the regulations cannot be fully complied with, or may not be practical in already developed business properties. Current Situation The applicant, Interbond Corporation (Brandsmart USA), is a single use property located on at the southeast corner of N.W 44 Ct. and N.W. 167 Street. The sign regulations were specifically intended to be applied to uses adjacent to major roadways such as N.W. 167 Street, N.W. 47 Avenue, and the Palmetto Expressway.  The 164,445 square feet facility operates as an electronic retailer for Brandsmart USA. The facility is located on 12.53 acres with access from N.W. 167 Street eastbound and from N.W. 44 Ct. The property has 600 feet of frontage on N.W. 167 Street and the building is setback approximately 325 feet from the Palmetto Expressway.  The existing free standing sign is a pole type sign by definition at a height of 23.3 feet, with an actual sign area of 288.0 square feet containing the words “Brandsmart USA”.  The code allows a maximum 20 feet in height, and a sign area of 200 square feet along N.W. 167 Street. Street.  The sign modification proposes changes to the existing pole type sign to a monument sign design. The proposed monument sign would remain 23.3 feet in height, with a sign area of 443.0 square feet when the base is calculated into the sign area. The actual copy area for the signage will remain at 288.0 square feet.  The two existing directional/information al wall signs are located on the west side of the building towards the rear of the building directing parking lot traffic to additional parking areas at the rear of the building. Each wall sign is 96 square feet where a maximum sign area of 8.0 square feet is permitted by the sign regulations. There are numerous existing directional parking signs that comply with the sign regulations on the property.  All other signage on the building will be in compliance with the sign regulations including the existing main wall sign and with the removal of all sign copy from all the white cabinet boxes lining the perimeter of the front of the building. The applicant had applied for, an obtained, a window sign permit previously. Analysis Since the existing freestanding sign is being redesigned into a monument type sign, and all sign copy from all the white cabinet boxes lining the front of the building are being removed, the proposed sign modifications and Sign Plan have been crafted to meet the intent and purpose of the City’s sign criteria by reducing the excessive competition and clutter of signage that currently exists on the property. Though, the two requested directional/informational signs may serve the purpose of directing patrons to the parking area at the rear of the property, the overall size of each being 96 square feet does not meet the intent and purpose of the sign regulations. The property does have additional directional signage that complies with the maximum 8 square feet sign area for directional signs. Notwithstanding, the sign regulations allow as many directional signs necessary to provide adequate directions and information as needed. Brandsmart USA Sign Variance, May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 Proposed Action: City Staff recommends Council approve a Resolution approving the variance for the sign height and sign area for the monument sign; and denial of the request for the two directional/informational wall signs. Attachments:  Exhibit “A”, Legal Description  Exhibit “B”, Staff Recommendation Brandsmart USA Sign Variance, May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 EXHIBIT “A” LEGAL DESCRIPTION Brandsmart USA Sign Variance, May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 EXHIBIT “A” LEGAL DESCRIPTION TRACT “A”OF PLAT “BRANDSMART USA SUBDIVISION” AS RECORDED IN P.B. 146, PAGE 32, OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA Brandsmart USA sign variance May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 EXHIBIT “B” STAFF RECOMMENDATION Brandsmart USA sign variance May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 STAFF RECOMMENDATION PH-2010-000079 APPLICATION INFORMATION Applicant: Interbond Corporation (Brandsmart USA) Property Location: 4320 NW 167 Street Property Size: 12.53 acres Future Land Use: Commerce Existing Zoning: I-1, Industrial -Light Requested Action(s): 1. Variance of section 34-667(1)(b)(c) to allow a monument sign with a sign area of 443.0square feet where a maximum sign area of 200 square feet is allowed; and a height of 23.3 feet where a maximum height of 20.0 feet is allowed; 2. Variance of section 34-658(2) to allow two (2) directional/informational wall signs each 96 square feet in area where a 8.0 square feet maximum sign area is permitted. RECOMMENDATION: City Staff recommends Council approve a Resolution approving the variance for the sign height and sign area for the monument sign; and denial of the request for the two directional/informational wall signs. REVIEW AND ANALYSIS Neighborhood Land Use Characteristics Property Future Land Land Use Zoning Existing Use Site Commerce I-1, Industrial -Heavy Electronics retailer North Major Arterial Right of way Palmetto Expressway South Neighborhood R-1, Single Family Residential vacant East Commerce I-2, Industrial -Heavy Furniture retailer/warehouse West Neighborhood R-2, Residential Duplex Vacant, place of religious assembly The 12.53 acre property is developed with a 164,445 square foot electronics retail facility. To the north is the Palmetto Expressway, with El Dorado Furniture to the east, a vacant parcel to the south owned by Florida Memorial University, and to the west are vacant residential lots and a place of religious assembly. Brandsmart USA sign variance May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 Project Summary/Background  The 164,445 square feet facility operates as an electronic retailer for Brandsmart USA. The facility in located on 12.53 acres with access from N.W. 167 Street eastbound and from N.W. 44 Ct. The property has 600 feet of frontage on N.W. 167 Street and the building is setback approximately 325 feet from the Palmetto Expressway.  The existing free standing sign is a pole type sign by definition at a height of 23.3 feet, with an actual sign area of 288.0 square feet containing the copy “Brandsmart USA”.  The code allows a maximum 20 feet in height, and a sign area of 200 square feet along N.W. 167 Street.  The sign modification proposed is to change the existing pole type sign to a monument sign design. The proposed monument sign would remain 23.3 feet in height, with a sign area of 443.0 square feet when the base is calculated into the sign area. The actual copy area for the signage will remain at 288.0 square feet.  The two existing directional/informational wall signs are located on the west side of the building towards the rear of the building directing parking lot traffic to additional parking areas at the rear of the building. Each wall sign is 96 square feet where a maximum sign area of 8.0 square feet is permitted by the sign regulations. There are numerous existing directional parking signs that comply with the sign regulations on the property.  All other signage on the building will be in compliance with the sign regulations including the existing main wall sign and with the removal of all sign copy from all the white cabinet boxes lining the perimeter of the front of the building. The applicant had applied for, an obtained, a window sign permit previously. Zoning History There are no relevant zoning history actions affecting this application. 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 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 and attempts to be consistent with the Community Vision which is an adopted part of the CDMP with the monument sign design and coordination with the building architecture. Zoning Review and Analysis In evaluating the request consideration is given to purpose and intent of the sign regulations. Brandsmart USA sign variance May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 “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. 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. Brandsmart USA sign variance May 2, 2012 PH-2012-000079 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.” In reviewing the above criteria for the granting of variances consideration was given to the following:  The overall size and scale of the site at 12.53 acres, 600 feet of frontage along N.W. 167 Street and being fully developed with a 164,445 square feet retail store. Considering the property has 600 feet of frontage and the building is set back 325 feet from the Palmetto Expressway, the monument sign and the one wall sign for the property (which currently is compliance with the new sign regulations) are consistent with the purpose and intent of the sign code since the overall size and height are not out of scale with the size and location of the property and do not result in an excessive clutter or competition of signage.  Over 1000 square feet of sign copy from the white cabinet boxes lining the entire length of the front of the building are being removed for compliance with the sign regulations, reducing the significant clutter and over competition of signage on the property.  The proposed monument sign area of 443.0 square feet, though greater than the allowed 200 square feet, is a direct result of the sign area being calculated to include the base of the monument sign. The proposed sign copy area comprises of the existing 288 square feet while the remainder is the base necessary to comply with the monument sign design standards. The existing 23.3 foot height exceeds the new sign code of 20 feet; however, the additional three (3) feet in height is not significant nor is it excessive in in relationship to the large scale of the building and spacing from the right-of-way.  The two directional/informational signs each 96 square feet in area far exceed the allowable 8.0 square feet for such signs and considering the sign regulations allow as many directional/informatio nal signs are needed (less than 8.0 square feet each) the same purpose the larger directional signs serve may be served with well-placed 8.0 square feet signs directional signs. Conclusion: The variance request for the monument sign maintains the intent and purpose of the sign code and meets the criteria for granting the variances. The request for the two directional/informational signs of 96 square feet each are excessive and does not meet the intent and purpose of the sign regulations. 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. To date of this writing no comments were received. (See Mailed Notice Radius Map, attached).