At a recent meeting, Milford City Council approved a request from the Food Bank of Delaware for a conditional use related to signage for the new location in Independence Commons Business Park. The Food Bank was requesting a conditional use for specific signage on the loading dock as well as an electronic message center monument sign. On September 11, based on this request, council agreed to change deed restrictions related to signs in the park.
“Food Bank is seeking approval under the social service organization criteria. The applicant is also seeking a comprehensive sign plan approval for the construction of building and on site directional signage that doesn’t comply with the general requirements for commercial signage within district,” Rob Pierce, City Planner, said. “This is the large property owned by Food Bank of Delaware on Veterans Boulevard within the Independence Commons Business Park. The applicant has provided an overall site plan with a legend or some images showing the different types of directional signage their sizes locations, along with some proposed signage for donor signs. Also, the proposed location for the electronic message center monument sign at the entrance.”
Pierce stated that the Planning Commission approved the request with a vote of 7 to 0 with the condition that the Food Bank mitigate any negative impacts related to the electronic message center sign on residents of the Delaware Veteran’s Home. Chad Robinson, Vice President of External Affairs for the Food Bank of Delaware, provided additional information.
“It’s feeling rather homey here at this podium for the times that I’ve been here, but we are excited the construction project is moving along as Rob indicated, and now to the point where we’re looking at signage,” Robinsons aid. “The long story short, is we want to make sure that as guests come to our facility, they’re coming for various purposes. They might be volunteers. They might be folks that are in need of food assistance. They might be visitors to our administrative offices, they could be volunteers out in the garden space. We want to make sure they all get to the right locations.”
Robinson provided graphics that showed signage plans that would achieve those goals.
“The dock signage that will be on the rear of the building, large numbers to make sure that we can direct truck traffic into the right dock. So having the numbers there above each of those docks will provide the ability to do that,” Robinson said. “As Rob mentioned, the electronic message center sign, we did have a conversation about that at Planning Commission last week, as you’ll see it is on the end of our driveway on the south side of the driveway across from the Delaware Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club.”
Robinson reached out to the Delaware Veteran’s Home and provided an email from that organization which indicated they approved the electronic signage as long as the side that faces the veteran’s home remained stagnant with no electronic display on that side. The electronic messaging would be on the side of the sign facing Airport Road.
“If you think about coming into Independence Commons, everyone whether they’re heading to the Veterans Home or hospice center, they will pass that sign going back to that space, so there’s really no need for the backside of that to have a message center as well, because folks will pass it on their way,” Robinson said.
Councilman Andy Fulton asked if the signage would also be beneficial to first responders.
“Absolutely. Councilman, you can see on the legend there and the image that Rob has on the screen the red signs. There at the end of the driveway, if you will, yep, that’s the one. And so that will again help folks, particularly our first responders get to the right location,” Robinson said. “And again, you’ll also see in the upper part of that page, the decal lettering on the exterior up to the top there that image right there. Those images as you see will be in the various spots. There’s two by the main entrance right there and the middle and then one on the would be the north side I guess of the building. That will help again as first responders have arrived and are now looking to get to the right place. They’ll see that exterior lettering there to make sure that they’re coming into the right the right place.”
There was no public comment during that portion of the presentation, either online or in person. Council approved the request with a vote of 6 to 0. Councilman Brian Baer voted in favor as he feels the Food Bank is a valuable resource in the community. Councilwoman Katrina Wilson agreed, stating that the sign request met with current guidelines.
“I vote yes,” Councilman Fulton said. “The signage will direct not only to customers, but suppliers and also provide direction to first responders if needed to respond to such a larger facility that we were blessed with. I vote yes.”
Councilman Mike Boyle felt that the signage was a well thought out plan for visitors who need direction.
“Oh yes, I think the sign is necessary for the size of their facility. I think it’s about 11 acres,” Councilman Dan Marabello said. “I just want to thank them for coming if you’re everyone recalls the first applicant for that location was for a storage unit. This is far better than a storage unit and I thank you for the nice design they made.”
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