Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Group Wants Sign Heights Cut Short; Partnership: Building Signs on Mayport Road Are Too Tall

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Group Wants Sign Heights Cut Short; Partnership: Building Signs on Mayport Road Are Too Tall

Article excerpt

Byline: DREW DIXON

MAYPORT - A civic group wants the zoning codes restricting commercial sign sizes and building heights in Atlantic Beach to also take effect along the Mayport Road corridor in Jacksonville.

The Mayport Waterfront Partnership unanimously approved a measure Tuesday calling for the Jacksonville City Council to impose a new zoning code for the roadway, especially the stretch from the Atlantic Beach city limit north to Mayport Naval Station. The partnership board agreed to approach Jacksonville City Councilman Warren Alvarez, who represents the Mayport area, in hopes of getting sponsorship for the legislation.

"The biggest intention is signs," said Waterfront Partnership Chairman Ben Tucker.

Ed Lukacovic, the project manager for the partnership, said signs for businesses along Mayport Road are currently haphazard in design and size.

"Let's try to get something that's uniform," he said.

The Atlantic Beach zoning calls for business signs to be limited to 120 square feet. Most can't be larger than 8 feet high, some can be up to 10 feet high if there is increased distance from the front of the business to the roadway, said Atlantic Beach Community Development Director Sonya Doerr.

But the prospect of limiting business signs had some partnership members hesitant when they first discussed the issue.

"We need to look at something where the existing businesses that have existing signs, if they fall out of our zoning, there should be some type of exception," said partnership member Dave Fisher. "It's expensive and signage is very important to small businesses, especially on a road that is well travelled."

The partnership board agreed to add a grandfather clause to any proposed measure for businesses with existing signs. But if those signs are damaged in a storm or wear out, they would have to be replaced.

In addition to sign zoning, the recommended measure calls for building height limits along Mayport Road to match Atlantic Beach's 35-foot height limit. …

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