POA to revisit debate on church signs – Hot Springs Village Voice

Earlier this year, the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Architectural Control Committee reviewed existing church signs and chose a standardized design that uses a triangular corner as a directional pointer.

Community development manager Charlie Brown told the ACC that small church signs had long been allowed in the Village. But there was no standardization.

One example was a small sign that said “Church” on DeSoto Boulevard near Equestrian Drive, with an arrow pointing toward Woodlands Presbyterian Church.

After discussion at the Thursday, May 19 meeting, Brown is developing a proposal for a future meeting. Committee members fear sign pollution.

Committee chair Jan Rowe said that years ago the ACC allowed signs because some churches are tucked in and hard to see. But others are prominent on the street and easy to see. Old ACC: “Not every church needs a sign, was their philosophy,” she said.

General manager Kelly Hale said too many signs exist, in general. “There are way too many signs everywhere, in general. Where does it stop?”

“Other than aesthetics, it’s the cost,” Hale said. While churches pay for the sign, the POA installs it to ensure it is properly placed, and then maintains the posting.

Hale said the signs were useful years ago when drivers did not have global positioning system units, or GPS, to assist in finding sites.

However, even today, the Village’s terrain may limit GPS use.

Hale said that churches in a prominent site do not need a sign, but those that are hard to see in an area without cellular service might need a sign. “There could be a handful of exceptions” for those situations. But most church sites are obvious. “It’s kind of like putting, ‘This item is hot’ on a cup of coffee,” Hale said.

Brown said on the compliance side, his office is still getting calls from businesses that feel deserving of a sign.

Commenting in particular on the photo of the DeSoto Boulevard signpost with four signs, including two church signs, Ron Poshard said, “This impedes vision for driving.”

But another member pointed out that only one of the signs is new.

“Let’s be honest, three of the four signs have been there for years,” Duane Hecklesburg said.

Hale said the POA management will make logical business decisions.

Earlier in the meeting, members discussed topics brought by visitors.

One was a proposal presented for Balboa Marina by Rick Wadsworth. At a previous meeting, ACC members asked him to make signs less imposing.

Wadsworth showed updated photos with proposed signs on the front and side facing the beach.

One on the front is proposed to say “Balboa Marina,” with an anchor logo. Gasoline pumps will offer 24-hour service, so the covered pump areas might say, “Gas, 24 hours.”

Also, Wadsworth showed photo with these signs on the building’s exterior: “Hamburger”, “Pizza”, “Hot Dogs” and “Call ahead, 501-922-3435”. In the example all wording was in capital letters, with 24-inch letters for the food and smaller lettering for the phone message.

After a comment that Villagers would expect food sales, Brown said many of the beach users are guests and visitors.

“I think it’s speaking their language, the way it is now,” Wadsworth said. But he added that everything was an example and he is willing to modify any of it.

Rowe told Wadsworth why the ACC is concerned. “Much of the population here is somewhat anti-sign,” she said.

Board director Tucker Omohundro said he could understand how the information might be helpful. “It’s at the beach. You’re only going to see it at the beach. If I’m there I might want some pizza,” he said.

After more discussion, the ACC suggested the words “Balboa Cafe” with ann anchor logo and the phone number on the beach side.

Wadsworth will bring an updated proposal.

A couple living on Guadalajara Lane asked for common property access to Lake DeSoto for a floating dock for kayak access. It would be 2-3 foot wide.

Omohundro said the ACC could not allow it, and the ACC was not the appropriate committee to approach.

“We have places like this all over Hot Springs Village,” he said. “This could open a can of worms.” Also, the ACC lacks authority to allow it.

“You can’t put stuff on common property because it’s for the enjoyment of all,” Rowe said.

Omohundro suggested starting with the common property, forest and wildlife committee.

Brown suggested proposal building a seawall, “Because that’s protecting the shoreline.” He said they could obtain the permit application and seawall guidelines at the permitting and inspections office.

The couple said a seawall could meet their needs for kayak access.

Brown, Hale and Rowe are reviewing rules and guidelines, with the goal of producing a user-friendly document that is easy to read and understand.

“What we’re going to give back to everyone will be black and white. Exceptions? That’s what the ACC is for. They have to be here at this table, so people won’t be interpreting it their own way,” Hale said.

Brown presented monthly information:

• Compliance: 471 cases opened year-to-date

• Planning and inspections: 1,248 inspections completed

• 715 small permits issued

• 50 new homes, 104 under construction.

Most permit requests were approved Thursday. Work should not begin until a permit is fully approved by staff, and when needed, the ACC. Unpermitted work is subject to a $150 fine, and if it is not approved, a $25 daily fine.

Permits approved:

• 8 Saldana Way, dock

• Gorrion Lane, solar panels

• 8 Adoracion Court, dock

• 4 Ribera Place, covered dock

• 11 Granada Way, deck addition with handrails

• 17 Inca Lane, dock

• 73 Sierra Drive, deck

• 10 Callella Road, commercial building addition

• 30 Certero Circle, landscaping

• 11 Lucir Lane, landscaping (already done)

• 3 Loma Way, swimming pool (already under construction)

• 35 Rocoso Drive, deck

• 29 Inovacion Lane, landscaping

• 3 Brilliante Way, outbuilding

• 2 Charca Way, storage shed

• 9 Narvaez Lane, concrete pad

• 14 Fastota Lane, landscaping

• 30 Dominar Way, terrace and concrete

• 13 Levantino Lane, dock

• 11 Isla Mujeres, patio extension

• 93 Fineza Way, dock

• 105 Fineza Way, swimming pool

Denied as submitted

• 34 Doscientos Circle, landscaping (need more information)

New homes

• 23 Soldado Lane, McMillan Homes

• 25 Brilliante Lane, Hudson Homes

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