A movement to save the Tee Jaye’s sign at the restaurant’s 4910 N. High St. location is gaining traction.
A change.org petition to the Clintonville Area Commission to save the “Clintonville Arrow” has reached over 500 signatures.
Tee Jaye’s President Dayna Sandsten has said the 4910 N. High St. location will close because the owners of the property put the space up for sale. She said they’re actively looking for another space in the Clintonville-Beechwold area.
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The petition has a 1,000-signature goal.
“Anyone living in or familiar with our lovely neighborhood in Clintonville surely is accustomed to seeing the iconic arrow sign located at the NE corner of Morse Road and High Street,” the petition reads. “It has appeared in local news, art, history, and has served as a neighborhood landmark for decades. The future of this beloved sign is in question and potentially in danger.”
According to the petition, the sign was originally built for Jerry’s Drive-In in the 1950s, and updated in the mid 1980s by Wendy’s-associated Sisters Restaurant before Tee Jaye’s updated it again in the early 1990s.
But now that Tee Jaye’s is leaving the site, it could be replaced with a Chick-fil-A restaurant, according to records from the city of Columbus website.
Columbus Chief Zoning Official Chris Presutti said he’s aware of nothing that would require the sign to remain in its location. Because of its size, height, and placement, it actually would need city variances if it were proposed today. The next tenant could choose to use the sign, he said.
The petition requests that any new operator of the property update the sign like Tee Jaye’s and Sisters Restaurant previously did, or change the sign to a “Clintonville sign that serves the neighborhood”.
Jim Garrison, CAC District 8 Commissioner, said he thinks the interest illustrated by the petition adequately captures the community feelings he’s seen expressed via local social media groups.
“Our predecessors in the Commission have indicated to me that CAC approvals on the site development had always been conditional on retention of the sign, but as things go, minutes from public meetings, extra verbiage from forms, and other local level discussions sometimes don’t carry forward on official records,” Garrison said.
The sign has no official national or state historic protections, and the recorder’s office is not aware of deed restrictions in the limited files they have on hand, he said.
“Efforts to demolish or replace it would, in my opinion, be a poor marketing decision in both brand presence and community outreach,” Garrison said.
Luckily, the petition shows the community strongly desires for such local iconic landmarks to remain, he said.
“Assuming Chick-fil-A’s proposed preliminary site development plan receives support from the city at the end of this month and they proceed, we’ll make sure to reinforce the sentiment of the Clintonville Community as it relates to the sign, traffic, or any other elements,” he said.