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Local

Geneva eatery must paint over, or cover, illegal sign

The owners of Craft Urban, 211 James St., Geneva, will have to paint over the sign or put up a sign over the name, as aldermen voted to recommend upholding the city's zoning ordinance. The ordinance does not allow signs to be painted directly on an exterior structure. The owners said they would abide by the decision.
The owners of Craft Urban, 211 James St., Geneva, will have to paint over the sign or put up a sign over the name, as aldermen voted to recommend upholding the city's zoning ordinance. The ordinance does not allow signs to be painted directly on an exterior structure. The owners said they would abide by the decision.

GENEVA – Acting as the Committee of the Whole, aldermen voted unanimously Jan. 8 to recommend upholding the city’s sign ordinance, resulting in a requirement that owners of a new restaurant must paint over or cover it with a real sign stating the name of the restaurant.

At issue is Craft Urban, 211 James St., Geneva, whose owners painted the restaurant’s logo and name right on the exterior brick building where they have leased space.

The city’s zoning ordinance does not require a permit for painting an exterior structure, Community Development Director David DeGroot said.

But the ordinance does require a permit for a sign painted directly on an exterior wall, DeGroot said.

“Back in October, they were cited for a violation,” DeGroot said. “Their response to that was to apply for this text amendment and accept the will of the council.”

The text amendment requested that signs painted directly on the exterior wall of any building be allowed, including signs painted directly on an exterior wall anywhere in the city, including the historic district, records show.

Other recommending bodies also rejected the application, DeGroot said.

At its Nov. 21 meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission voted 5-1 to recommend upholding the city’s current ordinance prohibiting signs painted directly on the exterior wall of any building, DeGroot said.

And the Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend the same at its meeting on Dec. 14, DeGroot said.

DeGroot said the mural artwork painted on the building’s exterior is not connected to what Craft Urban is selling. “It’s art and not a sign,” DeGroot said.

DeGroot said the owners either have to paint over the sign or install a sign directly over it once the City Council takes final action.

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