Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sawgrass Village Wants Exceptions for Flags, Signs; Not So Fast, Say Those Opposed to the Shopping Center's Request

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sawgrass Village Wants Exceptions for Flags, Signs; Not So Fast, Say Those Opposed to the Shopping Center's Request

Article excerpt

Byline: Shakaya Andres

PONTE VEDRA BEACH Flying permanent flags and banners at Sawgrass Village could attract customers to the economically-stressed shopping center, but the idea is repelling some community leaders.

Temporary banners such as those put up for The Players Championship are acceptable, but to allow banners as part of the property decor isn't aesthetically pleasing, said Dan MacDonald, Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition secretary. The county's land development code only permits banner signs for 60 days.

Permanent banners are one of about a dozen signage waivers owner Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Co. has requested for its site off Florida A1A.

"They are looking for an awful lot of signs," MacDonald said. "On a personal basis, the flags and banners section bothers me. Flags and banners are not Ponte Vedra. I think we'll have to ask them to step back from that one."

Attorneys representing Mass Mutual submitted a pre-application this month seeking a modification to St. Johns County's rules for banners and flags, said Teresa Bishop, long-range planning director.

"Under the county regulations for signs, banners are considered temporary and special use," she said. "They are not just allowed anywhere in the county at anytime. There are different types of signs they are trying to allow in that area."

Mass Mutual has also requested to replace the 28-foot-tall pylon sign at A1A and Sawgrass Village Drive with a more modern 35-foot monument sign. The existing sign has been in place for about a decade. The company also wants 12-foot ground signs along A1A, Sawgrass Village Drive and PGA Tour Boulevard so the signs are visible to passersby and to identify numerous businesses.

Other requests include 12-inch-high shrubs around the base of the ground signs, allowing them to grow to 24 inches. The shrubs must be 24 inches when planted, according to county rules.

Only one awning sign can be substituted on the front elevation of a building for a wall sign and neither an awning nor wall sign can exceed 24 square feet, under the county's regulations. …

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