10/25/2013 2:25:00 PM New CF Casey's gets sign variance
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council at its October 15 meeting approved a conditional use permit and a variance for a sign at the new Casey's General Store gas station and convenience store going in at the southeast corner of the Hwy. 52 and Hwy. 19 intersection.
The permit and variance was passed under the consent agenda without discussion, but had been discussed and approved by the planning commission in September.
The zoning ordinance allows a conditional use for a "highway area directional sign" if a business has "immediate adjacency" to Highway 52.
The variance was needed because the sign is fifty feet high, which exceeds the limit of 25 feet. Also, total signage area for the site totals about 300 square feet, above the 250 square feet limit.
The extra height was requested to get the sign above the tree line and electrical substation. The elevation drops off quickly to the west of the store site, which complicates the placing of the sign. The sign will still be below the tallest electrical poles of the substation.
The fifty foot tall sign that will be visible from both north and south lanes of Hwy. 52 will have about 200 square feet of display. Casey's said they had already agreed to a smaller than usual package (100 square feet) for signs that it uses at ground level of the store to accommodate the city regulations.
The Planning Commission had asked about the brightness of the tall sign. The sign manufacturer said it is mainly a red and brown sign (not much white) and uses LEDs as a light source rather than high intensity discharge so it shouldn't have an adverse amount of light levels.
Casey's has started running help wanted ads in the Beacon and is targeting a November opening of the store. The old Oasis store and pumps were totally demolished and removed for the new construction.