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Audio Express One Step Closer to Sign Variance

Audio Express agreed to forgo window signage in order to have more signage on the building at the June 6 Hazelwood City Council meeting.

has set a precedent for letting larger chain businesses know that it sticks to city law about various aspect of operation.

One of the most common request the council sees: sign variances.

At the June 6 Hazelwood City Council meeting, Will Behrens, a representative with Warren Sign Company, spoke on behalf of The topic was getting a sign variance for the location at the old Blockbuster Video at Village Square.

"We felt it was a special circumstance," Behrens said. "Because of the locations just off of Interstate 270, the the company wants more visibility for those driving on highway."

But some members of council were not feeling the variance request.

"It seems like we are having more and more variances," said Hazelwood City Councilman Bob Aubuchon. "They all think they are unique situations, but I think it's very visible the way it is."

One thing different about Behrens request was he said the compnay is offering to forgo all future window advertising in order to gain additional overhead signage.

Where it now reads "Audio Express" on the building, if approved during a final vote it would read:

"Audio. Video. Navigation. Audio Express. Alarms. Remote Starts"

Members of council were surprised by the approach, along with Hazelwood's legal department that made public note that Behrens does not work for Audio Express directly.

"So let me get this strait, you're telling me you're never ever going to write on the windows?" asked Hazelwood attorney Kevin O'Keefe. "No 'special today' or 'Veterans Day Sale'?

"All those signs merchants put in their windows, (Audio Express) swears not to do?"

To which Behrens replied yes.

Councilman Mike Conley, who typically is against variances gave a differing opinion at the meeting.

"I too am not a big fan of variances," he said. "But with the offer of giving up window space I don't see anything wrong with that."

At the end of the discussion, council had a role call vote to approve the measure for first reading. All council members voted in favor of adding the variance for first reading except Aubuchon, who also noted the site plan shown to council excluded a large standalone Audio Express sign.

There are currently signs in the windows at Audio Express which read "Grand Opening."

In other news Hazelwood City Council also took action on the following measures:

  • Gave final approval of an extension of a land use permit for the . The company plans to build the second of their new phase of gas stations near the current location.
  • Approved a contract regarding project, and hiring CDG Engineers Architects Planners, Inc. The company is being hired for design and construction services for Fee Fee Road south of James S. McDonnell Boulevard leading up to the Hazelwood Logistics Center. The cost: $242,375.
  • Approved purchase of a track loader.

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