Hotel developer gets OK on sign, must appeal for second approval|[06/04/08]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A local hotel developer, currently overseeing two hotel developments, will be allowed to place a monument sign on his property to help direct customers to his businesses, but will have to seek approval from Vicksburg officials to have a ground-mounted sign motorists can view from Interstate 20, members of the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals voted Tuesday.

Paul Patel, a partner with Southern Hospitality Services, which operates Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Inn, requested permission to have a 90-foot sign placed on the property of the Courtyard by Marriott, a five-story hotel being built on Underwood Drive. Another hotel, Comfort Inn & Suites, is being built in the same corridor, but facing Berryman Drive.

Mack Varner, an attorney representing Patel, said the sign would allow people traveling east on Interstate 20 to see the sign. If the sign were kept at 65 feet , the maximum allowed in the city’s sign ordinance, the view would be blocked by trees, Patel added.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Patel is the second person in the past few months to ask the board for an exception to allow a taller ground-mounted sign specifically for the purpose of being seen from I-20. In March, Dan Waring, owner of Exxon at 3114 Halls Ferry Road, requested that he be allowed to return a 120-foot sign to his property. A previous owner had the sign removed and to replace it would violate the current ordinance. The board denied Waring’s request, but that was overturned by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen two months later.

Zoning chairman Tim Fagerburg said in Tuesday’s meeting that the board might have to look at how many applications request taller signs for visibility and, eventually, amend the ordinance. This time, however, board members felt it best to stick with the previous decision and disallow the higher sign.

In order to allow the smaller sign, which will act as a marker to cut down on confusion as to the location of the hotels, the board voted to allow Patel’s request, but with conditions that require him to comply with the existing ordinance. He has 10 days to appeal.