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Article posted: 5/14/2013 5:59 PM

Carol Stream Park District seeks sign approval

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Carol Stream Park District is seeking village zoning approval to construct a 13-foot, 8-inch welcome sign in front of its new recreation center scheduled to open this summer.

Park officials also want permission to attach two acrylic placards to an existing sign at Town Center to provide motorists on Lies Road with directional signage for the rec center.

The requests come after the village and park boards were unable to come to an agreement about shared signage on the Town Center site at Gary Avenue and Lies Road.

The village plan commission/zoning board of appeals voted 6-0 this week to recommend approval of a sign code variance for the new sign at 910 N. Gary Ave. in lieu of the maximum allowable height of 8 feet. The village board is expected to consider the variance request Monday, and can decide to affirm, reverse or take no action on the plan commission's recommendation. If no action is taken, the commission's recommendation would take effect after 21 days.

The village board also would be charged with authorizing modifications to the existing Town Center sign on Lies since it sits on village property. It's unclear if the board would consider that request on Monday, said Don Bastian, the village's assistant community development director.

The park district sought to share the estimated $420,000 cost to alter two existing signs on site that would have removed a portion of the signs and inserted LED electronic message panels on the stone base. The park board initially favored splitting the cost with the village, and later agreed to a 60-40 cost share, but the village board ultimately voted 4-1 to withdraw from a potential arrangement with the park district.

The proposal came about following execution of a 2011 intergovernmental agreement that suggested the village and park district work together in good faith to consider shared signs for the new rec center and existing Town Center.

Each side of the proposed park district sign on Gary Avenue would say "Fountain View Recreation Center" on a top panel, and "Carol Stream Park District" on a bottom panel, with a 36-square-foot LED screen in the middle that would advertise park district programming. The district is looking into new technology in LED boards that would allow the brightness of the sign to modulate between day and night uses, according to Julie Vogl, director of marketing services, in a letter to village officials.

The park district is proposing the two 18.7-square-foot placards containing the words "Fountain View Recreation Center" be pin mounted to the existing "Ross Ferraro Town Center Carol Stream" sign on Lies that would be used to inform motorists that the rec center can be accessed by turning from Lies. Currently, northbound traffic on Gary is prevented from making a left turn onto Fountain View Drive, and park officials believe traffic flow to the facility would come from Lies.

Village community development department staff has expressed no objection to the addition of the placards, and no plan commissioners objected, Bastian said.

Vogl said the proposed signage is estimated to cost the park district about $100,000.

The park district is aiming to have the signs in place by the time the new $18 million, 90,846-square-foot facility opens. A soft opening is planned for early August and a grand opening Sept. 7.

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