County goes ahead with approval for billboards, despite Gunnison doubts
GUNNISON—Despite opposition from Gunnison City, the Sanpete County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a request from Artik Ads LLC of Ephraim for a conditional use permit to erect billboards east of Gunnison’s city limits along U.S. 89.
The commission took the action last Thursday, Oct. 13 at a meeting at the Sanpete County Courthouse.
Jeremiah Blain, owner of Artik Ads, says the company plans to erect three billboards on property leased from Thomas Guild.
According to the information from the planning commission, Guild’s owns 41.26 acres located on both sides of U.S. 89. While not within Gunnison City limits, the land is adjacent to the city’s boundary, in the Gunnison buffer zone and also adjacent to Satterwhite Log Homes.
Blain says his plan is put up two signs on the south side and one sign on the north side of U.S. 89 in front of a welding company property. The spacing of the signs complies with a state requirement that billboard be at least 500 feet apart. Artik plans to set up 10-foot tall steel I-beams that will support signs measuring about 10 feet by 30 feet.
In submissions to the planning commission, Blain said the Guild property is zoned commercial, and outdoor signs are permitted as a conditional use in commercial zones. He also maintained that the use was consistent with the county’s general plan.
Blain also noted that the property to the east of the site is zoned and used for commercial activities; that there is no development near the proposed location of the signs; there are no requirements for utilities, except for possibly electrical power; and there is no economic impact to surrounding uses.
He also maintained that there is no aesthetic impact to surrounding uses; there will be no offensive odors, dust, noise, glare or pollutants; there are no adverse effects of the proposed use; and there will be no impact on health, safety or welfare of the proposed use.
Commission members asked Blain if the proposed signs are to be powered and lighted. Blain replied, “If I do put lights on them, they will be solar powered.”
The commissioners also asked Blain what he would be advertising on the billboards. Blain implied it would be whatever his clients needed. But he said he had already reached an agreement with Security National Mortgage to advertise on the signs, should they be approved.
Gunnison City Councilman Blane Jensen was at the meeting representing the Gunnison City Council. “Our opposition is a reflection of conversations with Gunnison residents,” Jensen said. “Those who did speak with me unanimously expressed opposition to the project. I am not sure we can effect an official position, but with the people we have talked to, it’s an aesthetic thing.”
Blain replied by saying he had an agreement with the property owner Thomas Guild that he had to keep the billboards in good working and good looking condition.
The Planning and Zoning Commission, along with Scott Olsen, county zoning administrator, said it appeared that the proposal complied with existing zoning, and Blain had met all requirements for a conditional use permit.
A motion for approval passed unanimously. Blain was advised he also needed to get approval from the Utah Department of Transportation. And he was admonished not to advertse anything offensive.
“For the good folks of Gunnison, please keep it tasteful,” Olsen, the zoning administrator, said.
When contacted for a follow-up statement, Jensen said, “Gunnison City understands that all we were there for was to relay the feelings of our community to the County Planning and Zoning Commission. We are grateful they allowed us to express the feelings of our citizens but also understand that the commission is bound by its rules, and since the project met those, we also understood why it passed.”