SAM'S CLUB - Coming to I-35
Sam's Club Coming to I-35
Looks like Sam's Club will be the next big box retailer on I-35 and it will be located next to the Wal-Mart Super Center in front of our friends in Fox Lake.
It seems that Sam's Club operates differently than Wal-Mart. Their first introduction to Edmond was to request a Sign Variance that initially exceeded all reasonable standards.
(As Planning Commission Barry Moore put it - I lived in apartments smaller than the size of the 500 sq ft sign requested.)
Even though the Sam's Club Site is 15 acres, it only has 90ft of frontage and under the Corridor Sign Ordinance, they would be permitted a 60 ft sign - 25 ft high.
The largest Commercial signage on the Corridor for a non PUD zoning, is 100 sq and 50 ft high, according to City Planner Bob Schiermeyer.
The Wal-Mart sign at I-35, which does conform to the I-35 Standard, is 100 sq ft and is 30 ft high (even though it could be 50ft high)
On Sept 18th, the Planning Commission approved Sam's amended request for a 150 sq ft sign, 60 ft high.
Thanks to the efforts of Planning Commission Chair Barry Moore, the variance was whittled down to 150 sq ft, which is the same as the City Council allowed for the two Hospitals along I-35.
The Planning Commission is only a recommending body and the final issue could be decided by the City Council at the Oct 8th meeting.
While it may be reasonable to permit Sam's Club to have a 100 sq ft Sign - between 30 & 50 ft high, just like what we did for Wal-Mart, it is not reasonable for Sam's to have a 150 sq ft signage and 60 ft height. That is excessive and would rewrite the I-35 Corridor Standard.
#1. If the City Council approves a variance for the Sam's Club - Wal-Mart may ask for the same deal. Certainly every other retailer will do the same.
#2. Down the road, long after Sam's and Wal-Mart have moved on, the decisions by this council on the Sam's Club variance, if approved, will still haunt us.
#3. Will the traveling public driving the Corridor even notice they just passed through a town that was once ranked as the #1 Community in America? Signage is that important!
The City Council should stick to his decision to only permit larger signage (150 sq ft) when access to medical facilities is a life or death matter. No such public benefit is warranted for a Sam's Club.
If a 100 sq ft sign, 30 ft high was good enough for Wal-Mart - it should be good enough for Sam's Club.