Royal Palm turns thumbs down on Planet Fitness’ bigger sign

Updated Feb 06, 2018
(Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)

A fitness center’s plan for a larger sign was shot down by Royal Palm Beach’s village council Thursday, after village staff said it could set a bad precedent for future requests.

The Planet Fitness on the northwest corner of State Road 7 and Southern Boulevard wanted to add its signature thumbs-up logo to its south-facing sign, where the gym’s name already is emblazoned on the building.

RELATED: $1 million Okeechobee Blvd. repaving project begins out west

But Royal Palm Beach Planning and Zoning director Bradford O’Brien said the 26-foot cabinet sign would exceed the size allowed under the village’s rules.

“The applicants contend that this sign is not a cabinet sign … and that other businesses have larger cabinet signs,” he said.

As he presented the request to the council, O’Brien paused at a rendering of the proposed thumbs-up sign. “This thumbs up is not a recommendation,” he said, smiling as the council members laughed. “We are recommending denial. I should rotate that 180 degrees.”

The council agreed with O’Brien and his staff, voting unanimously to deny Planet Fitness’ request. The village’s Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the proposal late last month and recommended denial on a 4-1 vote.

Mayor Fred Pinto pointed to recent “very vigorous” changes made to the village’s sign rules. “We wanted to reduce the number of variances coming forward,” he said.

At the time the council reviewed those rules, increasing the minimum allowed cabinet sign size from 10 square feet was not considered. That was based on the recommendation of consultant Donaldson Hearing of Cotleur & Hearing, who found that the sign size was comparable with other municipalities.

“This logo is not up there currently,” O’Brien said, referring to the Planet Fitness thumbs-up. “What they are proposing is a cabinet sign” in addition to the existing letters.

Planet Fitness representatives were not present at the meeting.