Meadow Gold sign on BOA agenda

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Meadow Gold neon sign
Meadow Gold neon sign,
originally uploaded by Lost Tulsa.
Board of Adjustment case number BOA-20366 will be heard on Tuesday, October 24, at the BOA meeting which begins at 1 p.m. The City of Tulsa is seeking the following action:
Interpretation of the zoning text to determine the classification of the Meadow Gold sign.

The giant neon Meadow Gold sign (click that link to see a picture from 1957) used to sit atop a building on the southwest corner of 11th and Lewis. Car dealer Chris Nikel tore down the building for parking, but never used the space, and has since moved his dealership to Broken Arrow.

Before the building was demolished, the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture raised money to put the Meadow Gold sign into storage. (Here are photos of the disassembly process.) The new location for the sign is on the southwest corner of 11th & Quaker, where it will sit atop a specially-built platform. The property is zoned CH -- commercial high intensity.

Evidently there is some ambiguity about what kind of use the Meadow Gold sign is, which would affect how it would be treated under the zoning code. As Use Unit 22 (Business Signs and Outdoor Advertising), it is a use by right in CH, but there are numerous restrictions and conditions which may make that classification problematic.

It's been a while since I looked at this in detail, but I seem to recall that Tulsa's zoning code is not friendly to neon, particularly animated neon. Whatever the outcome of the BOA case, Tulsa's planners and elected officials ought to make sure that our laws encourage the maintenance of existing neon and creation of new neon, particularly along old Route 66.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 14, 2006 10:39 PM.

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