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New sign to illuminate 'Nines' restaurant entrance

Neighbors' reactions to sign mixed

Feb. 12, 2013

Mequon - There will soon be an illuminated "Nines" sign decorating the gable above the public restaurant's entrance, and the current unlit sign will be relocated above the restaurant's door.

The Planning Commission on Monday approved an amendment to the River Club's master sign plan, allowing for the 25-square-foot illuminated sign and also - despite city staff recommendations - authorizing River Club staff to move the current sign.

Alderman Dan Abendroth was the lone vote against the amendment after he unsuccessfully moved to table the discussion.

River Club representatives said some restaurant patrons have a hard time distinguishing which entrance to use, and an illuminated sign would help them find their way.

"Because of the low light levels (of the area) there's some confusion from the road of where to enter," River Club General Manger Ryan Doerr said.

He added that by moving the existing, unlit sign to the doorway, patrons moving around the building from the golf course or River Club itself would know where to go.

In a staff report presented to the commission, Assistant Community Development Director Jac Zader endorsed the new sign but described the plan of relocating the old sign as "redundant and unnecessary."

Alderman Abendroth agreed. Commissioners John Stoker and David Romoser, respectively, moved and seconded a motion to approve the new sign and allow the River Club to relocate the old one.

Public input on the sign change was mixed.

Nina Florsheim, a resident of West Fairway Heights Drive, said she has a clear view of the River Club sign on a different side of the building and supported the new illuminated sign for the Nines.

"None of us would object to the signs," she told the commission, speaking for the residents of her subdivision.

However, Jacqueline Court resident Ken Sosnowski, better known for his role as President of homeowner group Friends of Ville du Parc, advised commissioners against the new sign, saying it would be clearly visible from his and his neighbors' homes. He acknowledged that Alderman Abendroth has been to his home to see the problem firsthand, and implored the rest of the commission to see for themselves.

"You've never come out," he said. "Come to my house tonight. We'll shut off the lights and you can see."

Sosnowski's objection prompted Abendroth's motion to table, which failed for lack of a second before the River Club's requests were ultimately granted by the commission.

Doerr said the River Club will work with neighbors to mitigate any impact the new sign may have.

"We'd be more than happy to discuss those things," he said.

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