No construction date has been set, but a new Waffle House is planned for this parce at 3451 Dixie Highway. The Middletown Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday June 5 approved a variance for a 48-foot sign for better visibility from the Interstate 75/Ohio 122 interchange. ED RICHTER/STAFF Representatives from Waffle House and the property owner of a lot located at 3451 Dixie Highway will make another pitch to the Middletown Board of Zoning Appeals on June 5 for a 48-foot sign for a proposed restaurant. They are seeking a variance for better visibility from Interstate 75. Last month, the BZA voted 3-2 to approve the request, but did not have the four affirmative votes for the variance and two members were absent. ED RICHTER/STAFF A new Waffle House could be built at this site located at 3451 Dixie Highway. However, the Middletown Board of Zoning Appeals had a split vote that denied the restaurant developer a variance to erect a 50-foot sign to enhance visibility from the Interstate 75/Ohio 122 interchange, despite other restaurants nearby having the tall free-standing signage. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Last barrier for Waffle House’s new ‘dynamite location’ in Middletown is resolved

The variance will allow an additional 38 feet to the 10 feet currently allowed by the Middletown Development Code.

MORE: Middletown to decide if Waffle House should be a taller-than-allowed sign for restaurant

The board approved the recommendation of city staff, which said the sign should be approved because of the distance from Interstate 75/Ohio 122 interchange and the topography of the new restaurant’s location at on Cincinnati-Dayton Road just south of Ohio 122/Roosevelt Boulevard.

Restaurant officials say they need a tall sign because of the topography around the site in order to attract traffic around the I-75 interchange, which is critical for the success of the restaurant.

Walter Barineau of Waffle House said officials have been looking for a suitable location and thinks this site will be “a dynamite location but it will be imperative to get motorists off the highway.”

He said the motorist information signs with restaurant logos along the interstate highway and ramps were full because Ohio does not bump them off the signs.

There are also several tall free-standing signs for various restaurants and businesses in the general area.

No one spoke in opposition of the request at Wednesday’s meeting.

MORE: Middletown, proposed Waffle House at odds over large sign near I-75

After Thursday’s vote, Barineau said it was “fantastic” that the project could move forward.

“It’s awesome,” he said.

Barineau said the company has been looking for a site in the Middletown area since 2011.

“We’re looking forward to having a store in Middletown again,” he said.

Barineau said no construction date has been scheduled because the project is not yet fully permitted. He said construction will be determined by the company’s schedule and that there are a number of units currently being planned or under construction.

In May, the BZA voted 3-2 for a variance to erect a 50-foot sign at its proposed location on South Dixie Highway just south of Ohio 122. Because of the requirement of four votes to enact a variance, the request was denied. Two members of the seven-member board, David Kash and Fred Gibson, were absent from the May 1 meeting. At Wednesday’s meeting, member Dan Ward was absent.

Waffle House had a location at the I-75/Ohio 122 interchange before the property was acquired by the Ohio Department of Transportation for interchange improvements more than a decade ago.

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