Strike Three: After third meeting, BOA again denies sign variance

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A local developer and a dentist were hoping the third time would be the charm as they stood before the Port Isabel Board of Adjustments (BOA) to request a variance for a proposed electronic sign; however, things would not end in their favor.

Property developer Herb Houston, Jr. and Dr. Armando Salazar went before the BOA last Friday, Dec. 28 for a third time after the BOA’s November decision to deny the variance request was deemed invalid due to an insufficient number of BOA members on hand to vote.

Previously, Houston had presented the idea to the BOA in July, when the BOA chose to table the matter after a protracted and heated discussion.

With the full complement of the BOA present at Friday’s meeting, the decision to deny the variance request was unanimous.

At issue in the request were two factors: the first being a request to construct a monument style sign that exceeds size limitations under the City’s current ordinances. The second involved seeking permission to install a 50-square-foot electronic sign within the monument sign. Electronic signs are also prohibited under current ordinances.

However, Houston argued that the City has already set a precedent by allowing other businesses to erect such signs, including one within the historic district. “We believe that there is a hardship, there is a precedence because these other places that have erected their signs have erected them at the same time as this prohibition existed,” Houston said.

Dr. Salazar, who operates a dental practice at the property in question, has been working to increase the number of services available within the plaza of offices located on the corner of Queen Isabella Boulevard and South Shore Drive.

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