Earlier this month, the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals approved the application for a Variance of Development Standard to allow a 20-foot pole sign of approximately 65 square feet on a parcel at the intersection of South Michigan Road and 12th Road.
Planning Consultant Ralph Booker said the property is zoned R-1 in an area housing the race trace and performance facility. Previously they had a 32-square-foot sign unlit sign and a portable sign.
Booker said because this is in a rural residential zone, they need the variance. If this were located on the north side of Plymouth it would be a permitted sign.
Todd Wallsmith from Landmark Signs of Portage told the BZA they were hired to build the sign. The original terms of the contract were to build and deliver the sign and the owner would install it. He said the sign was ready faster than expected and delivered on a day when the company had time to install it. The owner said to go ahead and install it and Landmark Signs assumed he had pulled a permit for the sign. A couple of weeks later it was discovered there was no sign permit issued.
The new sign is a standard road sign with changeable letters. It’s not a flashing sign and doesn’t have an electronic message center.
Plymouth Motor Speedway owner, Kevin Sauer said, “I did ask a few people, but I guess I didn’t look into it long enough. I was told if there was a pole sign there that I could replace it with another pole sign. I will accept some of the blame for this.”
When asked about the intention to light the sign Sauer said he plans to light the sign on event days.
During the public hearing, Plymouth Building Commissioner Dennis Manuwal was supportive of the variance because it will get rid of two other signs and only have one on the property.
Mike Delp, a former business owner, also spoke in favor noting they will be getting rid of 2 signs and only have one. He also said the racetrack isn’t just doing speedway events but hosting other special family events that bring people to the community.
The motion was made to approve the variance request for the new sign for Plymouth Motor Speedway with a stipulation that a timer be put on the sign to shut off at midnight the two days prior to the event and by midnight on the night of the event.
The motion passed unanimously.