By Kevin Boneske
AHSWAUBENON – A Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a new six-story office building at 2465 Marina Circle was approved Tuesday, Jan. 28, by the village board, but not with large LED message boards sought by the developer, Bayland Buildings.
Plans for the approximately 10,000-square-foot office building, to be located north of the Manseau Flats apartments and west of the marina, 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 will consist primarily of a glass curtain wall system with brick veneer and natural cut stone panels.
The project will also include 92 off-street parking stalls.
Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the two LED changeable message boards requested by the project developer, Bayland Buildings, would be 672 or 288 square feet and larger than the 32 square feet allowed by the village code.
“Village staff is concerned anything greater than 32 square feet in this area would set a precedent,” Schuette said.
Ryan Bedford of Bedford Development, owner of the Manseau Flats apartments, wrote a letter to the village opposing the large LED boards.
Bedford said he didn’t object to the six-story building being located there, but expressed concerns about the effect light from a large message board could have on tenants in Manseau Flats.
Approval of the PUD without the large LED signs was recommended three weeks earlier by the village’s Site Plan Review Committee and Plan Commission.
Bill Aubrey of Bayland Buildings appeared before the board to ask that the larger LED message board be allowed.
Aubrey said the LED message boards he requested would only have logos for the tenants with the messages cycling between tenants, which could be as many as 10 for the building.
“It’s only for tenants,” he said. “It’s only a logo-based board. We would open it up for… Silver Alerts, Amber Alerts, if that’s something the community would be interested in.”
Though board members favored having the building constructed, the majority objected to the large LED signs.
“I love the project, don’t get me wrong,” Trustee Mark Williams said. “It’s just that I’m having a little bit of a heartburn with that (large LED sign along State Highway 172).”
Village President Mary Kardoskee said she received phone calls from residents objecting to the large signs.
She said the village wouldn’t legally be allowed to regulate the content of the signs.
“We cannot regulate what’s on the sign,” Kardoskee said. “Once the sign is up there, we can’t tell you what you can and cannot put on there.”
The PUD without the large LED signs was approved on a 6-1 vote with Trustee Chris Zirbel, who favored allowing a larger message board on the building, dissenting.
“We need to be pro-business here,” Zirbel said. “I understand where you guys are coming from on this. Personally, I don’t see an issue with the larger sign… When you’re going to put a building up and construction up that size, just me personally, I don’t have an issue with it.”
The conditions of approval for the project include revised signage plans to meet the approved PUD and/or village code.
Schuette said he didn’t have a problem with approving the requested 126-square-foot monument sign, which is six square feet larger than what the village typically allows, at the driveway entrance.
“Based on the scale of the building and the rendering provided with the proposal, staff is very comfortable with the proposed monument signage as requested,” he said. “The Site Plan Review Committee and Planning Commission recommended approval with the monument signage relief as well.”
Schuette said each tenant would be allowed to have a static sign on the building of up to 60 square feet.