Kent's newest cycle shop gets to keep its large sign on the western side of its building while adding a second sign to the Lake Street facade.
The Kent Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously to give Kent Cycle two variances Monday night. The first variance allows the business to have two building-mounted signs where only one is permitted by city code. And the second variance lets Kent Cycle's signs exceed the total size allowed by city code.
City code dictates the building can't have more than 100 total square feet of signs, but the variance lets the bike shop have a total 244 square feet with the existing sign and a new sign that will read "Kent Cycle" above the front door on Lake Street.
Stefan Meyer, a co-owner of the business, said they asked for the variance to have two signs in order to let remain visible to users of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail while identifying the building to motorists and others on North Water Street.
Meyer said they also plan to keep two trees that partially obscure the sign on the west side of the building.
"Which is also why we want to get our name on the front of the building," he said.
Members of the zoning board reasoned that a large sign on the Lake Street side of the building is necessary for safety so drivers can identify the building quickly.
The large, existing sign on the western face of the building was described by Kent Cycle co-owner Mario Morelos as a mural, and members of the zoning board and meeting audience agreed.
Harvey Street resident Diane Stresing said, as a cyclist, she considers that sign a key means for the business to let cyclists on the trail know there's a bike shop nearby.
"And that mural does that," she said.
Meyer and Morelos did agree to decrease the size of the sign facing Lake Street slightly at the recommendation of the zoning board to 36 total square feet.
"Thirty-six square feet is plenty," Morelos said.