By Jennifer Sierra
The city council meeting got heated last night when the subject of the “B In Vue” sign on the side of 5/3 Bank was brought up by council member Steve Guidugli. Guidugli inquired if there was a pathway council could put into place to keep the “In Vue” sign on the bank. Council member Dave Slater said “I was surprised to find out our code doesn’t cover murals.”
The B In Vue sign on the side of the bank promotes the business district in Bellevue.
Zoning administrator Scott Enns said the issue regarding this sign was that is it is located off premises, the size of the sign and the number of signs. It was determined that the sign was considered off premises advertising. It can be easily accommodated with a text amendment to include murals.
Council member Melissa Tatum asked, “If you are saying it is off site advertising, how is that considered off-site advertising? Where is “In Vue”? It is the whole street.”
Enns pointed out that the code specifically lays out that each sign on a building pertains to the goods or services within that property. “That could have been accommodated by adding “sponsored by 5/3 bank” on the sign.” Now that the ruling has been made by the Bellevue Planning and Zoning Board, the sign must be covered up. Any changes to the regulations by council or P & Z at this point are too late for the In Vue sign. They have 30 days to remove the sign.
City Manager Keith Spoelker is entertaining other options to change the sign code and allow a sign like the In Vue sign in the future.
Council member Guidugli suggesting putting a cloth or other covering over the mural until they could figure out a solution.
Council member Rodney Poynter rebutted against trying to make the In Vue sign work, “The process of allowing that to happen just because it is there is really putting a question mark on everybody that has ever applied for a sign in this city. Now we are going to make some way to make it legal. That is like the chief having his men out here monitoring speeding and citing people for going 25 mile an hour and coming back and saying we will fix it to work. It is 30 mile an hour. Allowing it to go on as long as it has doesn’t look good on the city. We need to comply with our own laws.”
Keith Spoelker said, “Part of the problem is that murals aren’t part of our code at all. If you look at other cities, like Lousiville, L.A. And Cincinnati, there are specific ordinances for art and murals. That Is what we are trying to copy to make it work for Bellevue.”
Council member Rodney Poynter stated, “If understand it right, had they applied for a permit the sign, they would have been told they were unable to put the sign up. At that time they would have been able to apply for a variance.”
Matt Olliges mentioned the fact that the 5/3 Bank building is a multi-tenant building. He suggested that might be a pathway which would allow for another sign on the building.
One could argue that the goods and services within 5/3 Bank, where the sign is currently located, are part of the goods and services offered In Vue but the ruling by planning and zoning has been made. Although it isn’t going to save the current “In Vue” sign, council member Steve Guidugli made a motion to authorize p and z to create a pathway to allow murals to exist on buildings in the city. The motions was passed.