Members of the Adairsville Unified Zoning Board voted unanimously Monday evening to approve a variance request from an applicant looking to open a new cafe at 6347 Joe Frank Harris Parkway.
Applicant Jon Spellman sought variances allowing his proposed Community Coffee Shop to have five wall signs, with the square footage of the walls totaling about 326 feet.
Under Adairsville zoning regulations, buildings in C-1 commercial designated districts that are less than 10,000 square feet are allowed a maximum of four wall signs, with the total square footage of those signs capped at 200.
“Since the building has been vacant for more than 12 months, the current signs are not grandfathered in,” a community development staff report reads. “The applicant's request is to cover the existing signs with approximately the same size in terms of square feet to avoid removal of existing signs.”
In a letter addressed to City staff, the applicant said that removing the existing signs on the roughly 0.4-acre parcel would pose “a major cost prohibition” to the business.
“Also, due to the construction type and appearance of the exterior of our building, it would look odd to have much smaller signs,” Spellman stated. “The signs we are proposing to install are very pleasing to look at, non-intrusive and simply are appropriate for the building as-is. They allow for maximum visibility for our coffee shop without being gaudy or intrusive.”
City of Adairsville Zoning Administrator Brady Hammonds said the building is about 1,200 square feet, adding that staff had no objections to the applicant’s requests.
“Just the way the building is built, it’s such a massive facade that if we have to go with the smaller signs, honestly, it just wouldn’t look fine,” Spellman addressed the board. “We’re going to be repainting the whole place and we just want to make it consistent with the overall look of the building.”
The applicant told members of the board that he also has plans to repair the signage lights at the property.
“I spoke with the landlord about that and he’s supposed to be looking into what it takes to make those look nice at night,” he said.
Over the years the parcel has been home to several different businesses, including an automotive store and a title pawn shop. According to Bartow County Board of Tax Assessors data, the 2020 fair market value of the property was listed at $144,115.