By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – A Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a new six-story office building at 2465 Marina Circle was recommended Tuesday, Jan. 7, by the village’s Site Plan Review Committee and Plan Commission, but not with large LED message boards sought by the developer.
The approximately 10,000-square-foot office building would be located north of the Manseau Flats apartments and west of the marina at the east end of Marina Circle.
Plans include covered parking on the first floor, office use on floors 2-5 and an office lounge, gym and exterior patio on the sixth floor.
Exterior building materials would consist primarily of a glass curtain wall system with brick veneer and natural cut stone panels.
Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the two LED changeable message boards requested by the developer, Bayland Buildings, would both be larger than the 32 square feet allowed by the village code by being 672 or 288 square feet on the east and west elevation.
Schuette said allowing LED message boards greater than 32 square feet would set a precedent in Ashwaubenon along State Highway 172 and potentially Interstate 41.
Bill Aubrey of Bayland Buildings said the LED message boards as requested would only have logos for tenants and be limited to 10 words associated with that business with the message cycling once every 5 minutes.
“It’s basically a static sign that would cycle through, say, 6-8 tenants that might be in this building,” Aubrey said.
Aubrey proposed having the content of the signage included in a development agreement.
Village President Mary Kardoskee said the village couldn’t legally regulate sign content, and allowing a large LED message board would make it difficult to deny someone else.
“We have a lot of frontage on 172, we have a lot of frontage on 41, that’s my concern,” Kardoskee said.
Aubrey said a 672-square-foot sign would only amount to 4 percent of the building’s façade, compared to each tenant having a sign of its own.
“This (LED message board) creates a lot of flexibility for the project as its tenants change,” he said. “You don’t have to put on a new sign. It allows us to limit the signage for the tenants – multi-tenant to a single location on the building versus multiple locations with a sign.”
Kardoskee said the village is only able to regulate the size of signs, but not the content, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Schuette said the conditions of approval for the project’s site plan include revising the signage plans to meet the approved PUD and/or village code.
He said he didn’t have a problem with approving the requested 126-square-foot monument sign, which is 6 square feet larger than what the village typically allows, at the driveway entrance.
“I’m OK with the monument sign,” Schuette said. “I believe it fits well. Considering the scale of the building, it makes sense.”
Schuette said each tenant would be allowed to have a static sign on the building of up to 60 square feet.
The PUD is being forwarded to the village board for a public hearing and final approval at its Jan. 28 meeting.