Palisade OKs deal for I-70 sign

A controversy over the height and nature of a sign listing fuel prices for a proposed Palisade gas station reached some middle ground Tuesday night.

Trustees voted 6-1 to allow Golden Gate Petroleum’s proposed 40-foot-tall lighted LED sign at Palisade’s Interstate 70 exit to deviate from the town’s code. Trustee Thea Chase opposed it.

Trustees said they liked the redesign of the sign because it also incorporates a Palisade tag and a Fruit & Wine Country label, which may attract more visitors. The Palisade label cannot be altered unless trustees approve of a change, according to terms of their vote.

“I think the consideration that (the sign company) has presented is a good compromise,” Trustee Bennett Price said. … “If you want to be in business you have to tell people where you are and what you sell.”

Officials with Golden Gate’s sign company, Yesco, originally proposed a 60-foot-tall sign, which deviated 40 feet from the town’s current code that allows signs no higher than 20 feet tall. The gas station is proposed for the east side of Elberta Avenue, near the eastbound on-ramp to the interstate. The land is located about 35 feet below the interstate’s roadway.

The height variance and other variances for the total square footage of all signs associated with the development were approved by the Palisade Planning Commission earlier this year. A citizen appeal headed by resident Tim Wedel opposed the planning commission’s decision. Trustees last month agreed with the citizen appeal and asked Golden Gate to come back with another sign proposal, under the 60-foot height.

In comparison, a sign across Elberta Avenue for Grande Valley Vineyards is 40 feet tall. That sign was allowed under a Mesa County code, before Palisade adopted its sign code.

A sign at Eagle’s Nest, a fueling station in Cameo off the interstate, is also 40 feet tall.

POT LOTTERY TODAY

Palisade trustees decided Tuesday night that today’s the day to host a lottery for applicants of recreational marijuana stores in town. The meeting is at 4 p.m. in the Palisade Fire Department training room of Palisade’s Civic Center, 341 W. Seventh St.

The random drawing will be held in bingo fashion. Seven Palisade-based businesses have submitted applications for the drawing, and eight non-Palisade businesses have submitted. Two drawings will be held to accommodate both types of businesses. Four businesses will be drawn in each category. The first business drawn can then apply with the state of Colorado before fulfilling a host of requirements with the town of Palisade.

Town Administrator Rich Sales said the bingo format was devised as a way to be fair.

“I just don’t know any fairer way to do it,” Sales said after the meeting.

Trustees do not decide which applicants are chosen and the board does not have to be present during the lottery.

Palisade will allow up to three recreational marijuana stores in town. Colorado Alternative Health Care, Palisade’s sole medical marijuana dispensary, recently opened the first recreational marijuana store, The Colorado Weedery.


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