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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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TopGolf seeks approval for towering sign in Brandon

BRANDON — Developers of TopGolf, a retail sports complex planned for construction off Falkenburg Road, want to ensure potential customers can find it.

Before people can hit balls, buy equipment, eat, drink or stay a while at the “premier” complex, they have to be able to locate the business, attorney Vincent Marchetti said. And with a row of oak trees north of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway blocking views of the property, the company hopes to erect a 1,600-square-foot sign.

TopGolf, which is a bit larger than the average Publix supermarket, is seeking a variance from Hillsborough County officials that would allow the towering sign. The request was scheduled to be heard at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, at the County Center in downtown Tampa. The developer has requested a continuance to March 17.

The company plans to build its facility just north of the Selmon Expressway and east of Falkenburg Road. It is the first satellite business attracted to that corridor since the county approved plans last year for a Bass Pro Shop there.

Under Hillsborough rules, TopGolf would be allowed a total of no more than 200 square feet of signs on its building. But the company has plans for 1,400 square feet of building signs, which would make up a neon-lit front design. The company also wants a 100-square-foot monument sign on the ground, and the 1,600-square-foot “pylon” sign that would be visible from the expressway, above the treetops.

A pylon sign typically lists a group of shops in a plaza or is mounted high above a store, so it can be seen from a distance.

“Their ability to have a display area or advertise for their use is very limited because of the tree line and the fact that the (Florida Department of Transportation) controls the land in-between” the store and the highway, said Marchetti, who represents TopGolf.

Hillsborough Senior Planner Kim King is reviewing the variance request and said she has not completed her report to the County Commission.

King said pylon signs are allowed in most zoning districts, but their size is based on public road frontage. “I know there are some larger signs, all approved by variance,” she said, mentioning signs for businesses near Interstate 4 and County Road 579. But none is larger than 500 square feet.

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