Sign Code Relaxed? RPB Grants Village Royale Appeal

The Royal Palm Beach Village Council approved an appeal last week by Pet Supermarket and the Village Royale Shopping Plaza, overturning the Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission’s denial in June and allowing national trademark colors on wall and monument signs.

The Sept. 11 decision could lead to a relaxation of the village’s code regulating color themes for applicants with national trademarks and colors by allowing them to apply directly to planning staff, bypassing commission review.

Pet Supermarket and the shopping center sought architectural approval to modify the existing master sign plan for the Village Royale Shopping Plaza to allow for trademark colors and logos on both monument signs and wall signs.

The shopping center’s current master sign plan was reviewed and approved in March 2006. It required all wall signs to be red Helvetica channel letters and the monument panels to have red letters on a white background.

In June, the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended denial of the application for the national trademark and colors. “They expressed concerns of creating a blanket approval and wanted to maintain the ability to have dialogue in the future with applicants regarding signage that would deviate from the master sign plan in order to create a harmonious signage throughout the village,” Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said at last week’s meeting.

He pointed out that the council at its previous meeting had overturned another commission decision denying the Pet Supermarket colors for the shopping center’s monument sign, with red Helvetica channel letters on a yellow background rather than white.

“Several outparcels in the Village Royale Shopping Plaza have obtained approvals individually to permit signs which deviate from the master sign plan,” O’Brien said. “These approvals permitted Wells Fargo, Burger King and Bud’s Chicken to incorporate trademarks or logos within their signage,” O’Brien said. “There have been other wall signs that have received approval for this deviation.”

O’Brien also showed other national trademark signs in the village and surrounding communities that have received approval, including in the Crossroads Shopping Center immediately east of Village Royale, where some of the tenants have utilized their trademark colors and logo. “Signage for outparcels typically in Royal Palm Beach have been given their trademark colors and logos for their monument-style signs,” O’Brien said.

Dunkin’ Donuts in Waterway Plaza immediately north of Village Royale received approval to use its trademark colors and logo, and national tenants in the shopping center on the northeast corner of State Road 7 and Okeechobee Blvd. are also among those using national colors and trademarks.

Tenants at Southern Palm Crossing on Southern Blvd. are allowed to have trademark colors and logos on the wall signs as well as outparcel monument signs, O’Brien said. He also pointed out that staff recommended approval of the Village Royale application to change the sign criteria to allow for trademark colors and logos on the monument sign as well as the wall signs.

Mayor Matty Mattioli asked whether the village would be under any obligation to change the sign, and O’Brien said the burden is entirely on the shopping center and tenants.

“The application is to allow the panels — whenever a new tenant comes in, they will change out the panel and that new tenant will get their registered trademark colors and logos,” O’Brien said. “There is nothing scheduled to replace the sign altogether.”

Vice Mayor Fred Pinto asked whether allowing national trademarks and logos would require a reconfiguration of the monument sign in order to make it attractive aesthetically, and O’Brien said there is no reconfiguring planned for the monument sign.

“The foundation of the monument sign will stay the same,” O’Brien said. “Within that monument sign there are panels, and they allocate panels based on square footage and things of that nature.”

O’Brien said the village code does not regulate the size of the panels, but rather the size of the monument sign itself. If the council approved the appeal before them to allow the national trademark and logo on the monument and wall signs at Village Royale, whenever a permit application came in, they would be required to provide documentation that they have a national trademark and logo, and that the color and logo matches the sign application that they have submitted, O’Brien explained.

Village Attorney Brad Biggs explained that the application is for a planned commercial development with a master signage approval, where the only thing they have to do is come to staff, and they do not have to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission. “You won’t be getting every single one of these coming in again to look at,” Biggs said.

O’Brien said that any requests for changes to the size of the signage on the monument or wall sign would have to go before the Planning & Zoning Commission and the council, if necessary.

Councilwoman Martha Webster said she wanted to see that the rules are more consistent for businesses.

“If one puts it up, they can all put it up,” Webster said. “Right now, we seem to have a mixture of that. I also believe that looking at the signs with the logos on it seems to be much more attractive and more appealing.”

Webster made a motion to approve the appeal, which carried 5-0.


Above: One of the monument signs at Village Royale.