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Kinsch Florist May Get its Off-Site Sign Yet

The Palatine Zoning Board of Appeals already voted 6 to 3 to deny Kinsch's request, though the village council is leaning toward finding a compromise that won't set a precedent.

A rendering of the proposed sign, to be constructed by Chicago-based Wooden Sign Co. Credit: Kinsch Facebook
A rendering of the proposed sign, to be constructed by Chicago-based Wooden Sign Co. Credit: Kinsch Facebook
Established in 1938, Kinsch Village Florist & Garden Center is the oldest family-owned business in Palatine, but being tucked away on a side road rather than having a prime location on a heavily-trafficked thoroughfare has been a challenge.

"The village built up around us," said Diane Kinsch in her appeal to the Palatine Village Council on Monday for an off-site sign on residential property located at 249 W. Palatine Rd.

Kinsch has appealed to its customer base and the community at-large for its support, even creating a poll on SurveyMonkey.com, which garnered 675 responses as of Monday, with more 98 percent of respondents in favor.

The business owners feel they have lost drive-by traffic and an off-site sign would direct customers to their location at 301 W. Johnson St., which is not visible from Palatine Road.

Kinsch has written permission from the residential property owner to place the wooden sign, which would include a raised planting bed, but the village would need to grant a variation to permit it.

The site is zoned R-3 high density multi-family residential, which can include office uses. However, said Director of Planning and Zoning Ben Vyverber, the zoning stipulates an on-premise requirement related to signage, and there is no connection between the residential site and the business on Johnson Street.

Mayor Jim Schwantz said he sympathized with Kinsch's plight, but it wasn't unique. He said he did not want to set a precedent resulting in "an avalanche" of businesses in similar situations expecting the same treatment. He added at least one resident voiced concern for their property value if the sign is permitted.

"It's a tough spot for us," said Schwantz. "If we deny it, we're not business-friendly to our long-standing businesses, which is not the case."

Councilman Greg Solberg said he couldn't get past the potential for other businesses asking for off-site signs.

Councilman Jim Clegg said his biggest concern was the size of the 6-foot tall, 10-foot wide sign, which he acknowledged was beautiful but also "huge." Clegg suggested Kinsch scale it down to 4-foot by 6-foot or smaller. Councilman Tim Millar said he would be open to such a compromise. The Kinsches said they'd do whatever it took.

The council agreed to continue the matter to its Feb. 17 meeting, to allow staff time to review possible zoning code amendments and prepare a report. Kinsch has been asked to return with sign modifications.

Read more on Patch:
Letter to the Editor: Kinsch Florist & Garden Center Seeks Community Support for Off-Site Sign
Laura Jones January 21, 2014 at 11:29 PM
You can't set a "precedence." The word you want is "precedent."
Angela Sykora (Editor) January 22, 2014 at 03:29 AM
Wrong I am, Laura! That's one of those words that has always tripped me up—even if I am a journalist :) Thanks for pointing it out. I corrected it in the text but unfortunately could not in the poll.
Nick Van Dyke February 01, 2014 at 01:22 PM
When in doubt I always check the Dixshunery.

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