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Planners to consider more freeway signs

The Planning Commission on Tuesday will consider allowing more 30-foot freeway signs in south Ashland.

The owners of the Holiday Inn Express on Clover Lane are asking the commission to extend the area where freeway signs are permitted, so that more people can find the hotel.

"The signs could potentially work for both (Interstate 5) directions as well as travelers coming down from Clover (Lane)," said Derek Severson, associate planner for the city.

Since at least 1973, city laws have restricted freeway signs outside a 700-foot radius from exit 14 on Interstate 5, according to planning documents.

In 1997, before the Holiday Inn was built, the commission approved a land partition on Clover Lane, as well as a realignment of the street to make the land "better suited for commercial development," according to the documents.

The realignment of the street resulted in some buildings, such as the Holiday Inn's, being less visible from the freeway and Clover Lane, Severson said.

"Did the realignment of that street back in the late '90s create a situation that necessitates a re-amendment to that overlay?" he said, framing the question before the commission.

Clover Lane LLC, which owns the hotel, is asking the commission to consider extending the 700-foot radius to include two additional properties — the Holiday Inn and Miguel's Restaurant — on the west side of Clover Lane.

Unlike some planning applications, city officials aren't explicitly recommending that the commission approve the freeway overlay extension request.

"What we basically said is, 'It seems that the request is reasonable and that it benefits the property owners and it doesn't seem to have an impact on the neighbors to the east,'" Severson said.

City officials will conduct a tour of the affected properties for commissioners and anyone else interested at 4 p.m. today, beginning at the hotel, 565 Clover Lane.

Tuesday's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.