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City of Hartford

Connecticut’s Capital City

Planning & Zoning Commission Staff Report
Special Permit to Construct a Changeable Electronic Outdoor Advertising Sign
15 Flower Street

Applicant Chris Adams, Adams Ahern, Inc. Owner The Hartford Courant Staff Name Jonathan E. Mullen, AICP Title Principal Planner Email mullj002@hartford.gov Phone (860) 757-9050 Zone C-1 POCD Designation Mixed Use Commercial, Office, Residential Lot Size 1.5 Acres Current Use Parking Lot Applicable Zoning Regulations 1007 Zoning Districts Where Signs Are Permitted Notification  Hartford Courant Nov 30, & Dec 7, 2012

PROPOSAL The applicant intends to construct a 64 foot, single faced ,changeable electronic outdoor advertising sign (CEOAS) on a single freestanding pole. The applicant intends to construct the sign at the northwest corner of the site 47 feet to the south of I-84 The sign will be visible to those traveling east bound on I-84. STAFF RECOMMENDATION Should the Commission feel that the addition of a CEOAS, given the information in this report as well as all testimony heard, will not adversely affect traffic safety and wish to grant a special permit to allow the construction of a changeable electronic sign at 15 Flower Street an appropriate resolution is attached. .

                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division   

 

CITY OF HARTFORD PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION RESOLUTION 15 FLOWER STREET SPECIAL PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT A CHANGEABLE ELECTRONIC OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGN
Whereas, The City of Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed an application for a special permit to construct a Changeable Electronic Outdoor Advertising Sign; and

Whereas, Whereas,

The Changeable Electronic Outdoor Advertising Signs are a permitted use in the C-1 zoning district within 250 feet of I-84, I-91, and Routes 5&15; and The proposed sign meets all the zoning requirements for a Changeable Electronic Outdoor Advertising sign with regard to height, size, distance from the highway and proximity to other outdoor advertising signs; and The proposed sign will not adversely impact traffic safety ; Now Therefore Be It Resolved The City of Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission hereby approves the special permit to construct a Changeable Electronic Sign located at 15 Flower Street, as shown in the site plans entitled “Improvement Location Survey Property of The Hartford Courant Company 15 Flower Street, Hartford, Connecticut” prepared by Close Jensen and Miller P.C. Consulting Engineers, Land Planners and Sur veyors, 1137 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield, Conn 06109, (860) 563-9375, dated September 21, 2012, scale 1 inch equals 20 feet, and the area map entitled “Proposed Outdoor Advertising Sign Loca tion Property of The Hartford Courant Company, 15 Flower Street, Hartford, Connecticut” prepared by Close Jensen and Miller P.C. Consulting Engineers, Land Planners and Surveyors, 1137 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield, Conn 06109, (860) 563-9375, dated November 15, 2012, scale 1 inch equals 100 feet.

Whereas, Resolved,

Now Be It Further; Resolved, This eleventh day of December, 2012

                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division 

REVIEW SITE DESCRIPTION The site is 1.5 acre site located in the C-1 zoning district in the Frog Hollow neighborhood. The site is used as a parking lot for the Hartford Courant to the east across Flower Street. ADJACENT USES NORTH – I-84 SOUTH – A former office manufacturing building EAST – The Hartford Courant WEST – A parking lot PROJECT DESCRIPTION The applicant intends to construct a 64 foot, single faced ,changeable electronic outdoor advertising sign (CEOAS) on a single freestanding pole. The applicant intends to construct the sign at the northwest corner of the site 47 feet to the south of I-84 The sign will be visible to those traveling east bound on I-84.

Location of proposed Changeable  Electronic Outdoor Advertising Sign 

View of proposed location of CEOAS, looking Northeast, and Northwest

                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division 

PROXMITY TO OTHER OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGNS Section 1009 (5) of the Zoning regulations states that “New outdoor advertising signs, both static and changeable electronic shall be spaced at a radius of not less than one thousand (1000) feet from each other…” The proposed CEOAS is located approximately 1,055 linear feet and 1,584 linear feet from the closest outdoor advertising signs. It should also be noted that the proposed CEOAS will be located 502 feet from a rooftop sign atop the Hartford Courant .

1055 FEET 

502 FEET 

1584FEET 

                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division 

HEIGHT The total height for the entire proposed CEOAS structure from the ground to the top of the sign is 60 feet. Section 1009 (10) states the height of outdoor advertising signs within 660 feet of a highway is measured from the median height of the highway travel lanes to the top of the sign. By that method of measurement the height of the proposed CEOAS from highway grade to the top of the sign is 26 feet.

Top of Sign = 106 feet 

Median Highway Height = 80 feet 

Ground Elevation = 80 feet 

Height of Sign  = 106 –80 = 26 Feet 

                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division 

ZONING ANALYSIS The proposed changeable electronic outdoor advertising sign meets all the zoning requirements with regards to size, height, distance from the interstate and proximity to other outdoor advertising signs. Because this project is being applied for under a Special Permit the Commission should take into consideration other factors besides compliance with the Zoning Regulations. The key factor that should be considered in the Commissions decision is safety. The segment of I-84 where the applicant is proposing to locate a new CEOAS adjacent to can be very congested , and has visual elements that have the potential to distract drivers. As noted in the proximity to other outdoor advertising signs section of this report, the proposed sign is approximately of a large rooftop sign atop the Hartford Courant building to the east across flower street. Although it does not meet the definition of an outdoor advertising Approximate Location of Proposed  Changeable Electronic Outdoor Advertis‐ ing Sign   

Existing Business Signage 

Federal Highway Signs 

Areas of Merging Traffic 

sign in that it does not advertise goods or services not available on the site, it is of the same size and scale of an outdoor advertising sign. There are also illuminated business signs just bellow the roof line of the Hartford Courant building located at 285 Broad Street and a business sign located on the Aetna Insurance Company building located at 151 Farmington Avenue. In addition to the business signage, drivers also have Federal Highway identification and directional signs to focus on. Further, drivers also have to pay attention to merging traffic for the on and off ramps located in this segment of I-84. The area where the applicant proposes to construct a Changeable Electronic Sign is visually complex with several elements that could prove to be distracting to drivers along I-84 eastbound. Should the Commission feel that the addition of a CEOAS, given the information in this report as well as all testimony heard, will not adversely affect traffic safety and wish to grant a special permit to allow the construction of a changeable electronic sign at 15 Flower Street an appropriate resolution is attached.
                                          City of Hartford, Department of Development Services, Planning Division  6