The old cliché of “let’s run it up a flagpole and see if anyone salutes” turned literal on Tuesday.
McMinnville’s Board of Zoning Appeals was presented with a variance request by Austin Schmidt of SDB Contracting Services, which represents Valor Healthcare. Schmidt ran the idea of a 50-foot flagpole at Three Star Mall by members of the Board of Zoning Appeals, a flag pole 15 feet taller than allowed in the C-3 Highway Commercial District.
“We fly two flags, one would be a USA flag and the second would be a POW flag,” said Schmidt.
The pole would have a concrete base and be set five feet deep. It will be placed in a parking median at the entrance of the mall near where Rose’s Department Store is located.
“We’ve done many of these clinics for our client, which is Valor Healthcare, and Valor Healthcare is the VA,” said Schmidt, who relayed that the mall’s owner, Monroe Retail Group LLC, has given approval for the pole. The VA Clinic is in the process of relocating to the mall from South Chancery Street.
Within the city’s C-3 Highway Commercial District, the maximum height allowed is three stories, or 35 feet.
According to the variance, the request seeks to increase the flagpole height by 15 feet since it will hold more than one flag and 50 feet will allow more room to accommodate the flags especially when they are lowered to half-mast during a time of mourning.
“I think it’s very appropriate given what’s going to be there,” said BZA member Jerry Williamson. “We probably need to consider these on an individual basis because of the height, but I think this one would be a welcome addition.”
Height was the only issue.
“If it wasn’t for the height, I don’t think there would be any problem with it,” said BZA member Jim Brock. “If this was closer to the airport, or something like that, the Airport Commission would have to look at it first. That’s all I can think of, but you just never know. Something may come up, but I think it’s a good idea.”
BZA member David Marttala agreed, “I think these should be taken on a case-by-case basis. For this property and this situation, it seems like it would fit.”
McMinnville Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously saluted the idea of approving a 50-foot flagpole at Three Star Mall for Valor Healthcare.