December 16, 2010


THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Chairman Michael Arminio at 5:01 p.m.


Pledge of Allegiance


Silent Prayer


Roll Call:


Commissioner Lance Green

Commissioner Joan Parker

Commissioner Shannon Booth

Commissioner Richard Barker

Commissioner Thomas Jordan

Chairman Michael Arminio


Absent:          Commissioner Robin Lasky (excused)


Also Present:

Lynette Luff, Assistant City Attorney                               

Wayne Clark, Director of Community Development 

Tim Burman, Principal Planner/Current Planning

Gwen Perney, Planner

Joyce Dombrowski, City Clerk’s Office 




Motion made by Commissioner Booth, seconded by Commissioner Parker, to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2010 meeting. Motion carried 6 – 0 upon roll call vote.




5.            Case No. 10-90000008

VARIANCE/ Jeff Jacobs and Robert Jeffrey Buczkowski, owners/applicants

            5548 South Ridgewood Avenue


A request for approval of variances from the following: 1) Chapter 15, Section 6(b)(1) of the City of Port Orange Land Development Code (LDC), to allow the height of a


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December 16, 2010

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freestanding sign to exceed 14’ and; 2) Chapter 15, Section 8(c)(3) of the City of Port Orange LDC to allow the use of an existing nonconforming freestanding sign with a change of business ownership and name. If the requested variances are approved, the

owners/applicants are proposing to utilize the existing sign on the subject property.


Tim Burman, Planner, gave the Staff Report presenting this request.  The applicant is applying to keep the nonconforming freestanding pole sign in order to maintain visibility from both directions on Ridgewood Avenue.  Due to the building being located on the right of way line there is no area in front of the building to locate a new sign with visibility from both northbound and southbound Ridgewood Avenue.  The property owner has worked with Staff on a number of possible locations for a new sign but was unable to get a sign situated on the property with visibility from both northbound and southbound Ridgewood Avenue.  Staff Recommendation:  The variance criteria that Staff has reviewed did not warrant a need for the variance.  Staff recommended denial of the variance.  If the Planning Commission does recommend approval of the variance, Staff requests that the variance is approved only for the life of this sign. 


Chairman Arminio applauded the owners for improving several properties in that area.  Commissioner Green remarked that from northbound Ridgewood the existing sign is not visible because palm trees from the lot next door are in the way.  He also remarked that due to the building being right on the sidewalk a ground sign would not help this property.   There are other businesses in the area with pole signs and signs above 15 feet.  He asked Mr. Burman if code requires a ground sign.  Mr. Burman answered a sign can be up to 14 feet.  A roof sign would be prohibited.  Commissioner Parker stated the sign has been long standing, she does not want to lessen the applicant’s business by removing the sign, and wondered if there have been any complaints or safety concerns regarding the sign.  Chairman Arminio stated his concern is that other businesses in the area have had to cut their signs down resulting in less visibility.  Commissioner Parker asked if those other businesses had the situation where they could not relocate their signs without compromising visibility.  Commissioner Booth asked if there have been any other variances like this.  Mr. Burman stated not with buildings as close to the sidewalk as this one.  Other properties that are this close to the sidewalk have the higher signs.  Commissioner Jordan asked about the variance only being in effect as long as this sign is standing.  Mr. Burman stated if the sign is torn down or becomes useless a new sign would have to comply with existing code.  Commissioner Jordan remarked that whenever the sign comes down the building will be in the same situation.  Mr. Burman stated if the property is combined with another property and signage is able to be relocated and be visible the property should be brought into conformity.  Commissioner Green remarked that when looking at the drawings provided by Mr. Burman it appears the only two places that a new sign could be approved are well off the street or behind the front of the building.  Mr. Burman said


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December 16, 2010

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that is correct.  Chairman Arminio asked if the applicant is doing landscaping and

putting a base on the bottom of the sign.  Mr. Burman stated landscaping has been done and they have mentioned installing a base or enclosure on the sign.


Jeff Jacobs, 617 Devon Street and owner/applicant, appeared before the Commission.  Chairman Arminio asked if there is a tenant or if the building is just being fixed up for a future tenant.  Mr. Jacobs said the building is being fixed up for a future tenant such as a doctor, real estate office, or small sub shop.  He said the sign issue is hampering negotiations with potential tenants.  Mr. Jacobs said moving the sign back five feet would block the view of cars pulling out of the site.  He stated he has tried to do everything the City has asked him to do.  Commissioner Green asked Mr. Jacobs if he has any issues with the variance being contingent on the life of the sign.  Mr. Jacobs said no.  Commissioner Green stated the City is also not allowing neon signs.  Mr. Jacobs said he has already agreed to cut the neon attachments off if the variance is approved.  Chairman Arminio asked if the sign is as old as the building.  Mr. Jacobs said the box and pole have been there since the beginning.  Commissioner Booth asked if the properties are merged would the signage be brought into compliance.  Mr. Jacobs said absolutely. 


Chairman Arminio asked if there was anyone in the audience that wanted to speak about this issue.  Jean Keiper, 5402 Turton Lane, said she owns the property behind this site.  She is anxious that the sign will be lit at night, made larger or made taller.  Chairman Arminio stated the neon will be removed and the sign will not be made any taller.  She is concerned about what type of business will move in.  Commissioner Green said he was giving hypothetical possibilities and that there is no tenant yet. 


Motion made by Commissioner Barker, seconded by Commissioner Booth, to approve the variance in case number 10-90000008 with the stipulation that the variance is only for the life of this sign. Motion carried 6 – 0 upon roll call vote.











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Commissioner Green remarked that he noticed the large dirt pile on the Masci site.  He wondered if Masci has approval to have the huge pile of dirt on that site.  Wayne Clark, Director of Community Development, answered that Masci has been before the Code Enforcement Board for violations such as beginning work without a permit; they have corrected a number of the issues.  The dirt was not appropriately placed and they are in the process of correcting the violations. 


Chairman Arminio asked about drainage work being done in the area of Spruce Creek Road and Commonwealth Boulevard.  A discussion ensued regarding this area and how an apartment complex for workforce housing was approved by this Commission about three years ago but did not make it through City Council.


Commissioner Barker asked if Altimira’s developers are planning on starting work early 2011.  Mr. Clark said he had a meeting with their entire team today regarding the Yorktown extension.  Due to the amount of time that has elapsed, the rest of the complex has to be re-zoned.  He said it looks more like moving the canal and building the Yorktown extension will occur during 2011 with site work and building work beginning in late 2011.  Commissioner Barker asked about the status of CVS.  Mr. Clark said they have building permits but he is not sure when work will start.  Commissioner Green said he noticed that silt work has been started.  Mr. Clark stated they are about three to four months behind schedule.  Commissioner Green said CVS was waiting for recording of the plat.  Mr. Clark said CVS was not willing to take the risk of not being able to record the plat. 


Chairman Arminio asked what Huntley is.  Mr. Clark said it is the new name of what was Market Masters and where the Biscuits and Gravy building was.  Chairman Arminio asked how far along the site is.  Mr. Clark said there has been a site plan meeting where the Design and Review Committee reviewed the plans.  The developers are planning on constructing one building now and waiting for the economy to improve before building the second building.  Commissioner Barker asked if there is a lot of commercial plan reviews going on now.  Mr. Clark said no.  Commissioner Barker asked why the City outsources commercial plan reviews.  Mr. Clark reports the current inspectors are out in the field busy with current sites such as US Foods and ABC Liquor Stores.  No one is licensed full trades to do a full commercial plan review so it is more efficient to outsource the reviews than to pull inspectors off of existing site inspections to do the plan reviews.  Due to the economy the City will have to start pulling the inspectors in more often for plan reviews which will result in more complaints regarding the wait time for site inspections. 


Commissioner Jordan asked about the future plans for Ridgewood Avenue.  Mr. Clark said he is making a summary to Mr. Parker to send to the City Council but they are still in the data-collecting phase.  They were scheduled to finish it at the end of this year but


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have eliminated positions which slowed the process down.  He believes the data should

be ready sometime in January and would like to start community meetings in the spring.  Chairman Arminio stated he has been working with the Chamber of Commerce and some of the business owners in that area to obtain input about improving the area.




Chairman Arminio remarked that in the past there have been Planning Commission meetings with only one item on the agenda and wondered if the meetings could be held bimonthly or as needed.  Mr. Clark stated that outside applicants who have paid a fee have a right to due process but if the items are city business they may be able to be combined.  Ms. Luff stated the Port Orange Code of Ordinances state the Commission shall meet at least once per month unless cancelled by the Commission or its Chair.  She said the meetings would have to be scheduled and then cancelled for lack of agenda items.




Mr. Clark reported on the Kmart site.  The Beall’s Outlet interior improvements are underway and the permits have been paid for and started.  The developer is going public with plans that they are close to getting a notice of intent signed with T.G.I. Friday’s.






ADJOURNMENT:  5:30 p.m.







                                                                                    Chairman Michael Arminio