Grosse Pointe Farms council reduces sign variance for urgent care facility

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 30, 2019


GROSSE POINTE FARMS — While Grosse Pointe Farms City Council members acknowledged the need to have adequate signs on an urgent care facility, they didn’t feel comfortable with what they felt was an excessive amount of signage.

During a July 8 City Council meeting, officials with a new Beaumont Urgent Care facility at 18700 Mack Ave. were seeking a variance because their sign plan called for sign square footage nearly double what the city would allow. In a memo, Public Services Director Matthew Baka said the city’s sign ordinance allows businesses to have 1 square foot of signage per linear foot of frontage. In the case of the Beaumont building, which is 51.33 feet wide, it would be permitted to have 51.33 square feet of signage.

However, besides a 46.1-square-foot sign for the front of the building, Beaumont representatives were seeking directional signs on each side of the building indicating the presence of parking in the back, along with a sign near the back clinic entrance, for a total of 50.9 square feet of signage — or 45.67 square feet more than they would normally be allowed.

“You’re asking for a lot,” City Councilman Lev Wood said.

Ed Phillips, president of Harrison Township-based Phillips Sign & Lighting Inc., told the council that they needed additional signs for several reasons, one of which was a “rather nondescript rear entrance,” which is also “kind of indented” and thus harder to see.

“If you’re a patient in need of medical attention, it would be (beneficial) to have that entrance identified (clearly),” he told the council.

Phillips said the rear sign was the most important.

“I understand the back sign. … I just don’t envision the signs on either side (of the building) as being useful,” Mayor Louis Theros said.

Phillips said they were dropping their request for a directional sign on the north side, but were still hoping for a directional sign on the south side of the building.

The council voted unanimously in favor of allowing a variance to give Beaumont Urgent Care its requested 27.9-square-foot rear sign and a directional sign on the south side of the building not to exceed 8 square feet, with the latter to be approved administratively. The front sign, along Mack, is not to exceed 46 square feet, according to the motion.

“Thank you for bringing urgent care to the Farms,” Theros said. “These facilities are important. They (reduce) emergency (medical) costs.”

A Beaumont spokesperson said by email that the Farms facility opened for patients July 22. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.