The Woodstock City Council recently approved a variance request from Rootstock to install its rebranded signage over the girders on the exterior of the building.

The Woodstock City Council heard and approved a sign variance submitted to the city by Rootstock at its most recent meeting.

During her presentation to the council, Senior City Planner Katie O’Connor explained that the request had come about due to the restaurant undergoing a process of rebranding. Although Rootstock is also in the process of working on expanding the facility and all of the permits related to that project, O’Connor said the sign waiver in front of the council related only to the original portion of the building and not the expansion.

“What they’re asking for is some signs to run along the top of their building,” she said.

One of the signs included in this request, Rootstock has designed to be 180 square feet, exceeding the city code’s limit of 160 square feet being allowed for one of the three signs on a single-tenant building, while the other sign involved was 42 square feet, up from the limit of 32 square feet on the other two signs allowed by code. O’Connor added that both signs would be built out of a hardy panel material, which would make them flat panel signs and thus also require a variance. She concluded her presentation by noting that, in part due to the proposed signs being of a flat panel design, both the development process committee and planning commission had submitted recommendations for denial of the variance requests.

When addressing the council, Rootstock owner Sean Daily said he was not a big fan of the steel girders on the top of the building showing, which was one reason he was looking to install the signs in those particular spots on the building. He disagreed with the description of the signs as flat panel, instead describing the them as an upward extension of the exterior walls. Lastly, Daily said these signs as proposed would not be gaudy, but instead would be simple with a “nice trim” on them.

Mayor Donnie Henriques asked Daily if the expansion the restaurant was seeking would also need a sign package variance. Daily responded it most likely would not. Henriques also said he liked the signs’ design as it was being presented and felt they improved the building’s façade.

Councilman Colin Ake said he did not really see the girders as an architectural feature of the building and believed the signs could work as presented. Similarly, Councilman Warren Johnson said he liked the way these signs made it appear like a raising of the walls.

“I think this could look really nice if it’s trimmed in well,” Ake said.

Once the council had concluded its discussion, a motion was put forth to approve the variances, with the attached condition that the signs to be installed would look as similar as possible to the designs submitted in the request.

The motion passed in a 4-2 vote of the council, with council members Tracy Collins and Rob Usher dissenting.

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