Although it’s still lights-on for Flower Hospital, Sylvania City Council voted Monday to restrict future use of tube lighting or similar illumination on the sides of commercial buildings that face residential districts.
“This does not address the historic use by Flower Hospital or our neighbors’ concerns on Harroun Road, because we cannot make the previous legal code retroactive. However, it does ensure it does not happen anymore,” said Doug Haynam, chairman of council’s zoning and annexation committee.
“We now have in place clear guidance for our administrators and zoning personnel regarding when it’s appropriate.”
Council voted unanimously to adopt the code, which allows neon or neon-like lights to be used in business districts, while preventing the neon glow in business zones that face homes or residential areas.
A hearing before council’s meeting attracted no speakers from the general public. Councilman Mark Luetke requested that the code be placed on council’s agenda as a recommendation to adopt it that evening.
The code applies to businesses along Monroe Street and Alexis Road. Neon lights are permitted on storefronts, but the lights would not be allowed on the backs of buildings because those streets border residential properties.
The zoning code that regulates illumination was reviewed after Flower Hospital placed green tube lights along its buildings’ roof lines, part of a marketing campaign used at other hospitals operated by ProMedica. Nearby residents protested, prompting ProMedica to dim the lights by 50 percent.
While Flower Hospital’s lights are grandfathered in, any additional lights of that nature would be restricted by the new code.