The Barrington Area Library will be getting a new electronic sign at its Northwest Highway location.
Last week, the Barrington Board of Trustees voted in favor of the Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation to allow the sign to be placed 15 feet back from the street.
The process to get the new signage approved wasn’t an easy one. The library was requesting a special use permit for the new sign to be placed closer to Northwest Highway than the current code allows. The library requested a 5-foot set back, while the current code calls for 30 feet. After much discussion, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) decided to deviate from the current code and grant them a 15-foot set back from Northwest Highway.
Library representatives were pleased with this decision, but still wanted to push for their initial request of a 5-foot set back. Several representatives came to last week’s village board meeting to petition the ZBA's ruling.
“We were very happy with the zoning board’s ruling. We would like to request reconsideration of one point on what the zoning board did, and that point is the set back that was granted to us of 15 feet from the property line of Northwest Highway,” said Sean Kelly, a representative of the library.
Kelly presented several main points to the Board of Trustees regarding the library’s wish to have a 5-foot set back for their electronic sign. Kelly said if they decide to stick with the 15-foot set back, a significant amount of vegetation on the library’s property will have to be removed.
“The library is really a library in the park, and we would have to remove what we consider a significant amount of vegetation, which would not only change the appearance of the library but also change the neighborhood,” he said.
Kelly said by moving the sign 10 feet closer to the street, most vegetation would remain in tact.
Greg Summers, Barrington's Director of Engineering and Building, responded to Kelly’s argument at the board meeting. Summers said no trees or any major plants would have to be removed to keep the set back at 15 feet.
“The original Zoning Board felt there was only a minimal amount of landscaping,” Summers said.
Another point made by Kelly was that other businesses along Northwest Highway have signs closer to the street than what the library is requesting. However, businesses south of the library were under a different zoning ordinance when those signs were installed.
“By allowing those signs to be closer to the road, you’re really allowing them an advantage that the library doesn’t have,” he said. “If it (the minimum set back) was adjusted, we would have to do less to the site and impact the community less."
Summers said one of the reasons the ZBA granted the 15-foot set back was due to the surrounding businesses signs. He said a great deal of research was put into where the library’s sign should go, and agrees that the 15 foot distance is best.
“There was actually extensive photos taken up and down the street by both the petitioner and the village staff trying to reconcile what the appropriate distance was. When they put it all together, they felt the 15 foot standard was the most appropriate,” Summers said.
The village board voted in favor of the ZBA’s recommendation, and approved a distance for the library’s sign of 15-feet back from Northwest Highway. The date of the sign's installation has not yet been reported.