New tavern seeks exception from sign ordinance

By on December 11, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—After Elburn officials debated for years about what types of signs were appropriate for the village, they crafted a sign ordinance and approved it March 31. Since then, businesses, including the new Schmidt’s Towne Tap have asked to erect signs not allowed under the ordinance.

Tavern owner Kevin Schmidt asked for a variance to erect a primary sign that would hang perpendicular from his bar at 107 N. Main, which he intends to open by Dec. 25.

A primary hanging sign is prohibited under the current village sign ordinance. Schmidt wants the sign because it would draw more business to his establishment, he said.

Trustee Bill Grabarek said during the Village Board meeting Monday that if current village officials want to allow signs such as primary hanging signs, the ordinance should reflect that, and not require variances.

“My concern was, because we took so much effort in putting together the sign code, should we be granting variances right away?” Grabarek said.

“I would rather amend the sign code first,” Grabarek said.

Following Grabarek’s comments, the Village Board decided to hold a special meeting Monday, Dec. 14, to decide whether to change the ordinance to allow primary hanging signs to accommodate Schmidt’s request without a variance; he wants to have his sign up before opening his tavern.

Trustee Jeff Walter recommended changing the sign ordinance to include parameters on the appearance of the hanging signs the village would allow.

“I think this (Schmidt’s sign) is the look we are looking for,” Walter said.

Walter wants the village to consider revising the sign ordinance. He does not want the current restrictions of the sign ordinance to hold up Kevin Schmidt’s sign.