Archive for Thursday, December 13, 2007

K-10 pole sign to come down, city says

December 13, 2007

In asking the De Soto City Council for a concession as it negotiates to open a restaurant in De Soto Business Park, a Mr. Goodcents representative joked the company wasn't asking for a tax break.

Perhaps he would have been better received had that been the case.

As it was, the council had no interest in amending its sign ordinance to allow Mr. Goodcents to place a sign atop the pole in the parking lot of the De Soto Business Park off 91st Street.

In his defensive, Mr. Goodcents chief financial officer Kirk Johnson was unaware of council's long history with the sign ordinance or the pole sign in his request.

The restaurant franchise headquartered in De Soto intends to open a restaurant in its hometown. If possible, the plan was to spruce up the existing 40-foot high post with a nice sign that could have 'Welcome to De Soto' greeting on the main sign or below it, Johnson said.

Since the pole was there, the idea was to improve it and make use of it, Johnson said.

The current sign ordinance was approved in October 2006 after lengthy discussion with the De Soto Planning Commission. Much of that discussion involved the perceived unattractive clutter of multiple pole signs at intersections.

In the end, pole signs were banned although those currently advertising businesses were grandfathered.

"A lot of people weighed in and gave comment," Councilwoman Mitra Templin said. "The bottom line is we don't want pole signs in De Soto."

Among those pre-existing signs was the one in question, which had already gained the council's attention when Wally Borth put a sign atop the pole for Beer 30 without a permit.

After a six-month grace period to make improvements to the pole sign went unheeded, its current owner, Wildcat Development L.L.C. of Leawood, has been notified the sign must come down.

Johnson also was told the council couldn't act alone to modify the sign ordinance. Any action would have to get the approval of the planning commission and require a public hearing with notification of neighboring property owners.

Although the majority of the council remained opposed to pole signs, Councilman Mike Drennon said the city needed to take a more positive attitude toward business.

"We have got to be more creative here and we need to promote businesses and work with them so they can be successful," he said.

The council had a workshop on economic development last month in an attempt to find ideas to stimulate economic development in De Soto.

At that meeting, Mayor Dave Anderson, and the three council members present (Templin, Councilwoman Betty Cannon and Councilman Ted Morse) identified ideas and projects the city could further explore to stimulate economic growth. Those included:

  • Extension of sewer service.
  • Creation of a new industrial park.
  • Downtown redevelopment and identifying the businesses and residential the city would like to attract to the district.
  • Scheduling a meeting with developers.
  • Soliciting a developer/partner.
  • Preparing the 95th Street corridor for development.
  • Preparing the Kill Creek Road/Kansas Highway 10 intersection for development.
  • Preparing the Edgerton Road/K-10 intersection for development.

Last Thursday, Drennon and Councilman Tim Maniez were asked to make their selections of projects to explore from the list.

Drennon and Maniez were pretty much in agreement with those ideas, but Maniez did single out downtown revitalization that got only one vote in the earlier meeting..

It was agreed to schedule another work session to further discussion of the ideas, but no date was set.

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