Planners OK more 30-foot freeway signs

The Planning Commission on Tuesday voted to allow two more 30-foot freeway signs in south Ashland.

In the 7-1 vote, the commission decided to extend the area where freeway signs are permitted by two properties on Clover Lane, allowing the Holiday Inn Express and a parking lot to put up signs.

"I think we're being very, very specific," said Commissioner Dave Dotterrer, who made the motion to approve the hotel's request. "I listened very closely to the (approval language) to make sure we weren't setting some kind of precedent."

A handful of nearby residents said they were worried the decision to allow more pole signs would set a precedent in the city, making it easier to erect additional signs.

"I have little objection to a ground sign at Holiday Inn Express," neighbor Robert Peffer wrote in a letter to the commission. "But I do object to opening so many legal doors by changing the existing Freeway Sign Zone boundaries."

Since at least 1973, city laws have restricted freeway signs outside a 700-foot radius from exit 14 on Interstate 5, according to planning documents.

Derek Severson, associate planner for the city, said it didn't appear the city would be setting a precedent by extending the sign boundary, because the extension involved only a few properties that were affected by a reconfiguration of Clover Lane.

In 1997, before the Holiday Inn was built, the commission approved a land partition on Clover Lane, as well as a realignment of the street to make the land "better suited for commercial development," according to the documents.

The realignment of the street resulted in some properties, such as the Holiday Inn's, being less visible from the freeway and Clover Lane, Severson said.

Clover Lane LLC, which owns the Holiday Inn, plans to erect an approximately 28-foot sign in the northwest corner of the lot, so that more people can find the hotel.

Although a sign likely won't be placed on the parking lot property now, future developers could opt to erect a freeway sign there.

Commissioner Debbie Miller was the only one to vote against the proposal.

"I'm going to vote no, although I'm very sympathetic," she said. "I don't think they've done their options."

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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