That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council:
1. Refuse a Minor Variance application to the Sign By-law to allow two illuminated ground signs on the Innes Road frontage of the shopping centre development that exceed the maximum allowable area and height of ground signs in a District 4 zone.
2. Approve a recommended Minor Variance to the Sign By-law to allow one illuminated ground sign on the Innes Road frontage, of the 4290 Innes Road parcel, with an area of 17 square metres, from the maximum permitted area of 14 square metres.
RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement recommande au Conseil :
1. de rejeter une demande de dérogation mineure au Règlement municipal sur les enseignes visant à permettre deux enseignes lumineuses fixées au sol à la façade du centre commercial donnant sur le chemin Innes, parce que leur superficie et leur hauteur dépassent les limites permises pour les enseignes fixées au sol dans le district 4.
2. d'approuver une dérogation mineure recommandée au Règlement municipal sur les enseignes afin de permettre, le long de la façade donnant sur le chemin Innes de la parcelle de terrain située au 4290, chemin Innes, une enseigne lumineuse fixée au sol ayant une superficie de 17 mètres carrés, alors que la superficie maximale autorisée est de 14 mètres carrés.
This variance application is being pursued for two separate parcels of a commercial retail/restaurant shopping centre development. Although the development was severed into three parcels, the retail commercial development was designed and approved under zoning provisions and the Site Plan Approval process to operate as one shopping centre, under a one-parcel condition. The mall includes developments by Trinity and Loblaws Incorporated.
The properties are located near the corner of Innes Road and Lanthier Drive in Orleans, just west of Tenth Line Road (see Document 1). Adjacent uses are commercial/industrial on the south side of Innes Road with residential uses located north of Innes Road across from the subject site. This subject parcel is zoned CC (commercial) in the former City of Cumberland Zoning By-law and listed as a District 4 use in the Sign By-law.
In the application, the developer stated that the signs proposed are justified as the larger signs requested will provide essential advertising for tenants that occupy retail and service commercial space well removed from the street edge. In addition, the applicant suggests that the site visibility along a major arterial roadway justifies larger signs for a multi-tenant complex and the proposed signs are not in conflict with the City's Official Plan.
Sign Variance Requested
The applicant seeks approval to install two illuminated identification ground signs on two parcels of a shopping centre development. The proposed ground signs, to be located on Innes Road frontages of the property, would exceed the height and the permitted sign face area of the ground sign provisions of the by-law. Each ground sign, if approved, would have a height of 10.7 metres, with an identification area of over 22 square metres per sign.
For a shopping centre use, the By-law allows a ground sign area per frontage of 14 square metres of area with a maximum height of 8.0 metres. In addition to this, one frontage of the shopping centre development may have an additional six square metres of area with the mall identification not exceeding three square metres of area.
The Department does not support the variance to allow two proposed ground signs at the requested scale for this shopping centre, as detailed in this submission, as the signs are not appropriate for this specific site. The scale of the signs are excessive and do not compare to the size and area of other signs in this area of the City on similar malls or commercial development. For example, approved signage for the Innes developments at Belcourt and Tenth Line have signs that range from 14 to 20 square metres. Signage at the RioCan mall east of Tenth Line has similar scaled identification that was approved via Site Plan Control and agreements with the developer.
Further, the scale of the signs is not consistent with the design principles in approving this mall with the buildings being limited to one-storey developments. With a proposed height of 10.7 metres, the signage will overpower the building facades, which is inconsistent with the approved design guidelines for this area. Signs, as requested, would impact upon residential units to the north side of Innes Road. Specifically, illumination from the signs would project into the homes of adjacent residential uses on the north side of Innes.
Specific to this Shopping Centre, the By-law allows only one sign on a separate frontage to have an additional area of six square metres, from the maximum area of 14 square metres. In this case, the Department suggests that it is appropriate to have the one Shopping Centre sign to be located on the west side of the mall and smaller or more subordinate signs to be located at the gas bar connected to Loblaws and the east parcel area of the Shopping Centre. Site Plan approvals have approved the location of the signs but not the scale of the signage.
Responses generated from the circulation have shown significant opposition to this application. The Ward Councillor is aware of this application.
Given the scale of development for the eastern parcel of the mall, the Department supports a minor increase to the By-law for one sign at 4290 Innes Road. The applicant has requested a larger sign of over 20 square metres at the eastern edge of the mall in scale with the development approved. The applicant also suggests that some of the tenants at the back portion of the mall would have limited identification at the street. In addition, the applicant has informed the City that they have no intention of placing any signage on the Lanthier frontage of the mall, where under the By-law, they are allowed up to 14 square metres of ground signage area.
The Department, therefore, recommends a signage area of 17 square metres for only one sign on the Innes frontage on the east parcel of the mall, as shown on the Site Plan on Document 2. Since the setbacks to the existing uses are large and the zoning allows alternate commercial uses on the north side of Innes, it is considered that a larger sign of 17 sq m, representing a 20% increase to the by-law regulations, is a minor variance to the by-law. In addition, there will be less impact to adjacent uses with the potential of small-scaled neighbourhood commercial developments on the north side of Innes across from the subject recommended sign, given the zoning that allows alternate commercial uses.
Standard early notification was provided to community and business groups. There were eight respondents who were in opposition and two respondents who supported the application. The Ward Councillor is aware of the application. The concerns mentioned in the circulation were that there was no valid reason to allow a sign so much larger than that allowed by the relevant regulations and the concerns of the potential infringement on residential areas, including illumination glare from the large scale of the proposed signage. The adjacent residential community basically suggests that no increases to the by-law were needed. The specific comments of the Innes Road Rezoning Group are noted in Document 3.
Based on the review and further consultations with stakeholders, the Department recommends refusal of the requested signs, supporting a recommended sign of a scale of 17 sq m on the eastern portion of the shopping mall. The Innes Rezoning Group is now of the opinion that, given the explanation of the recommended variance from staff, they will not oppose the minor increase of 20% for the eastern parcel only. However they do request that it be recognized that their support of this submission is with the understanding this approval is only for a site-specific basis and that it will not set a precedent for larger signs in this community. As with any similar submission, each case in viewed on the specific situation, how it affects the adjacent community and how it reflects on the policies and intent of the Sign By-law.
Document 2 Site Plan
Document 3 Comments from the Innes Road Rezoning Group
Document 4 Elevation of the Proposed Signs
Corporate Services Department, Secretariat Services Branch to notify the applicant, Holzman Consultants Inc., on behalf of Riotrin Properties (Orleans) Inc.; Attention: Bill Holzman, 1076 Castle Hill Cres, Ottawa, Ontario, K2C 2A8, the owner, RIOTRIN Properties (Orleans) Inc., c/o Trinity Development Group Inc., 610-150 Isabella Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 1V7, and Councillor Rob Jellett of City Council's decision.
COMMENTS FROM THE INNES ROAD REZONING GROUP
ELEVATION OF THE PROPOSED SIGNS