The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission’s board of adjustments denied a variance to install a digital monument sign at an office located at 1800 Teague Drive.

Keith Zetzer represented owners Evergreen Equity Corporation to request a variance allowing a digital monument to be installed at an eight foot setback along Teague Drive instead of the required 15 feet. He was also requesting an eight foot setback variance from Grand Avenue instead of the 10 feet required by the city.

“There is an existing monument that has now been taken away,” Zetzer said. “That sign had a variance issued. This new one is going to be in a very similar location. The direction is changing to allow them to have a digital board on the backside as well.”

Commission member Shawn Davis asked why a variance was need if there was already enough room to install the sign.

“We actually have a 25 foot requirement on both ends,” Zetzer said. “We did a survey and the sign ends up in the parking lot if we were trying to meet code. There is no other spot on the premises where we can meet code. It is the way the parking lot is laid out.”

Davis asked Zetzer whether he had the measurements from the existing sign and Zetzer said it was about a foot from the original sign. Chairman Clay Mahone agreed there appeared to be plenty of room on the grassy corner.

“One of the things we think about from our perspective is driving in these lanes,” Mahone said. “We want people in these intersections to see clearly across the intersection. That is part of the reason for the 25 foot setback. If it was somewhere in between there, it wouldn’t be the only thing you can see. Would it be possible to put it back further and set the sign in there?”

Zetzer again raised the issue of the readability of the digital sign.

“I believe the concern is they would like to put it in there because of the visibility issue with the back side of the monument,” Zetzer said. “The issue is people won’t be able to see the LED portion of the sign if we set it too far back.”

Vice Chairman Eric Elliott again raised safety concerns.

“We are here to protect the visibility of the people driving and walking,” Elliott said.

Zetzer said the old sign was at an angle and the new sign would be perpendicular to the road, but the commission decided to deny the permit citing visibility issues for oncoming traffic.