Extra signage for Wendy’s on Fifth Avenue OK’d

The new Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant under construction on Fifth Avenue South will have signs on three sides of the building as a result of a Tuesday decision by the Fort Dodge Board of Adjustment.

On a 3-2 vote, the board granted a variance from the rule that limits wall signs to two sides of a building unless the business is located on a street corner or a large lot called a double parcel.

Board members Jeanne Gibson, Susan Hayden and Matt Johnson voted yes. Board members Steve Hoesel and Eric Ruttum voted no. Both Hoesel and Ruttum said they voted no because similiar requests had been rejected by the board in the past. Ruttum added that he doesn’t like the sign rule and suggested that it be changed in the future.

Drawings submitted to city officials by restaurant owners Dennis Johnson and Mark Miller showed signs on three sides of the building. However, they only learned that three signs would not be allowed when they applied for a permit to install them.

”We were under the impression we had the approvals we needed to proceed,” Johnson told the board Tuesday.

Dennis Jordison, a city building inspector, said signs aren’t considered during an early look at commercial building projects called a site plan review.

Johnson said the desired signs are part of a new look the hamburger chain is requiring its franchises to have.

”It is not excessive,” he said. ”It will not create a hardship on any of the surrounding properties.”

He added that Wendy’s has already altered some of its design principles to comply with city requirements.