Board of Adjustments debates Racetrac, Murphy's

During its May 08, 2017 meeting, the Forney Board of Adjustments met and (this is the preliminary report, subject to change):

  • Held Public Hearings -

    • Took no action re: withdrawn request for variances/special exceptions for signage for the Baylor, Scott & White Emergency Center located at 757 E. State Highway 80. The request is to add a wall sign on the west elevation of the building and to replace the existing wall sign on the east elevation of the building.
      The request has been withdrawn.

    • Debated a request for variances/special exceptions for signage for the future RaceTrac business located at the northeast corner of F.M. 548 and F.M. 1641. The request is to increase monument sign height and to increase wall sign sizes on both side facades.
      PM briefed the board, they have approval from P&Z and council for the business. The sign size would be allowed for a 5 acre lot, this is only 1.8 acres.
      Staff recommends denial.
      Rep. presented a slide show, they modified the usual signage in consideration of Forney's ordinances. He believes they have a hardship. The front sign is allowed to be 10%, which would be 239 sq ft, it is only 40. He said the curved road is a unique location. He went through his interpretation of why they should be approved.
      He noted other businesses having larger that 15sq ft signs. Mr. said they were stuck by draconian rules. VH asked about canopy signs - they are allowed 15 sq ft, but that is so small they aren't going to do them. Mr. Hendricks pointed out there is a stop light there, and frequent trains. KM said hard to believe anyone won't know racetrac is there. RH asked if signs were part of the original approvals; PM said sign requests are speparate. JV talked ... asked if they have ever had to used 15 sq ft signs; no. smaller than 40? no. RH said the curve isn't very noticable while driving. During discussion about the swirly sign, applicant offered to throw it out. KM asked to clarify the requested extra high monument sign is still less sq ft than allowed; yes. RH said he appreciates they are doing their job to disagree with staff, but he's not convinced. He asks PM, who says many things are open to interpretation, if they agree with the curve of the road that would open it up, it's rather the linchpin for the argument.

      Motion to approve swirly sign fails.
      Motion to approve monument sign passes.

      JV asked Mr. Morgan why they wanted to deny the side sign request; #2 for enjoyment or use, #5 hardship - he views this as elf-imposed, but sign code does allow request for variance.

      Motion to approve larger side sign approved by 4-1.

    • Debated and Took no action on withdrawn request for a variance/special exception for signage for the Murphy USA store located at 802 E. U.S. Highway, Suite A. The request is to increase canopy sign size and allow the gasoline sale price to be displayed on the canopy.
      Mr. Morgan said Murphy is redeveloping the site. Ordinance says sign may only contain the name. They do currently have pricing on the canopy and larger than 15 sq ft; those are pre-existing non-conforming conditions. Rep said they will demo then entire site, including underground tanks, new building all sales will be inside. Logo sign not as important as price sign. They are allowed a 12 ft monument sign, but there is a large drainage ditch and several easements.
      15 sq ft sign too small from hwy 80. __ asked if the request would be the same size as existing; yes. He asked if there wasn't a provision to remain; Mr. Morgan said not since they are demo'ing the entire site. Mr. Hendricks said drivers will have missed the exit by time they see the sign. Murphy express has no relation to walmart, murphy usa does.

      Applicant said they can argue hardship due to lack of monument sign. Mr. Hendricks said if approve this variance, they could still do the monument later; Mr. Morgan agreed. He also verified the property is surrounded by easements. Other rep said if they give up the monument, have to have way to advertise diesel and e85. Mr. Morgan said there is nothing in ordinance that allows trading signs. There was discussion about trading, Mr. Morgan said would have to check with attorney. Mr. Morgan suggested they withdraw the application and submit a site plan?
      Applicant withdrew request, will return with another in future.

  • Adjourned
Monday, 2017, May 8