AURORA — Two businesses were granted variances for signs at the most recent meeting of the city’s board of zoning appeals.

Liberty Ford at Route 43 and Squires Road was granted variances for additional wall signs and greater overall wall sign square footage, while McDonald’s was granted variances for an additional ground sign and a non-frontage wall sign.

The approval for Liberty Ford included three wall signs with a combined size of 129 square feet. The zoning code allows one wall sign with a maximum of 48 square feet.

City Director of Economic Development Jack Burge said Liberty has worked with the city to make its new dealership a reality, and it will bring 100 new jobs to the city.

He noted the wall signs would be aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for that commercial area of the city.

In a letter to panelists, North Aurora Road resident April Deitch said she was opposed to the variances because of the overall lighting of the property.

However, Chairwoman Therese Fennell pointed out the illumination was not a factor to be considered by the board, because it was asked only to review the square footage and number of wall signs.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said signage at the West Garfield Road restaurant is being updated to comform to new corporate standards. 

He said the proposed 14-square-foot sign will replace two existing window decal signs which total 100 square feet. He added McDonald’s wants to remove signage that clutters the building and replace it with more subtle identification logos.

McDonald’s also was granted a variance for a non-illuminated clearance bar ground sign, because the drive-thru pickup station is being updated and a canopy will be installed to shield customers from rain and snow.

Assistant Planning-Zoning-Building Director Meredith Davis said the architectural board of review previously approved both signs.

The board also granted two variances to Steven Tartabini of Morgan Trail — one allowing a garage to be 22 feet high instead of the required 15 feet and one to place the garage 7 feet from the house instead of the required 15 feet.

Tartabini plans to erect a 420-square-foot garage closer to the house because the site has a sloping terrain in the rear yard. The project has received Hawthorn Homeowners Association approval, and adjacent neighbors did not have issues with the garage.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or