October 30, 2014

Billboard request fails

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
A divided governing body vetoed a conditional use permit for a billboard sign at Homestead Lane in Edgerton. The vote, 3-3, effectively killed the proposed project.
Edgerton staff members recommended that the planning commission approve the application for a conditional use permit for a 40-foot billboard at Homestead Lane and 199th Street last May. However, commissioners recommended that the council reject the proposal from Tim Gates, a real estate agent representing the property owners in May.
Gates previously told council that a part of the sign would be leased and another part of the sign would be used to advertise available property for development near the site. He said a tall billboard would be necessary to alert drivers before they reach the exit to the interchange.
Last month, the council tabled the issue seeking more information about what stipulations the Kansas Department of Transportation uses to deny or approve billboard signs.
Matt Stueck, a nearby property owner, filed a protest petition opposing the billboard.
“Everyone here agrees we don’t really know whether this billboard is appropriate,” he told the council. Stueck said until the Interstate 35 interchange at Homestead Lane is finished, the request is premature.
Due to the protest petition, two-thirds of the council needed to approve issuing the conditional use permit for the sign.
Council members Cindy Crooks said she supported the project. She was joined by council members Clay Longenecker and Heidi Wiseman.
Council member Jody Brown opposed the project, in part, he said because the council would have no control over what the sign would advertise.
“I just drove to Georgia, and every billboard had some sort of adult bookstore,” he said. “I don’t want that here.”
Roberts and council member Frances Cross joined Brown in opposing the sign. The tied vote killed the request.

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