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Village Vision News

Dental businesses gnash teeth over signage

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Representatives of Affordable Dentures on Lucile Avenue and the soon-to-open Aspen Dental less than a block away on Highland Drive did a little snapping at each other at the May 2 Board meeting. Crowning the dispute was a special use permit request from Aspen Dental to add an exterior wall sign nearly twice the maximum size allowed on the west side of the facility facing Rt. 51. Board members ultimately denied the request, agreeing with an April 28 Plan Commission recommendation. Before that, however, both sides disputed the legitimacy of the request.

“This is a cluster of confusion,” said attorney Ed Flynn, representative for Affordable Dentures. He noted that Aspen Dental had previously requested and been approved in February to place a monument sign on the property in addition to its wall sign planned for the south side of the building. Aspen’s newest request for a larger-than-allowed wall sign on the facility’s western exposure was in error, Flynn said, since the company was not entitled to a third sign, per the Village code.

“The goal is not to come in and oversign a location,” said Amy Johnson of Chandler Signs on behalf of Aspen Dental, explaining that sign visibility was crucial since the company’s primary patients are older adults. “We are not trying to be sneaky,” she said.

Johnson apologized for misstating the special use permit request, noting that a previous conversation with Village staff members had led Aspen to believe that all three signs were permitted. While noting that several Forsyth businesses had multiple signs, she offered to forego the monument sign in favor of keeping wall signs on the west and south sides of the new facility.

“Please don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a national sign company fully aware of the code,” Flynn said, appealing to the Board of trustees to keep control on signage requests so as not to become a “nightmare” of billboards and signs as in other areas.

Without discussion, trustees unanimously denied Aspen Dental’s request.

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