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A Pensacola attorney has withdrawn his appeal of the city’s decision to allow the construction of a waterfront sign for the Fish House restaurant, paving the way for permits to be issued.

Quarter Portions, Inc. — a company through which attorney Bob Kerrigan and his law partners own a number of properties within Pensacola’s historic district — had appealed a September decision by the city’s Architectural Review Board approving the sign. Pensacola’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and City Council had been scheduled to review the appeal this week.

With an appeal pending, the city wasn’t able to issue permits, essentially placing the project on hold. Now that the appeal has been withdrawn, construction can proceed. “This now allows the city to move forward with review of the permit application,” said city spokesman Vernon Stewart. “We are excited to move forward with this project.”

“We are looking to move forward as soon as possible,” said Maria Goldberg, a spokesperson for the restaurant. “We are in the process of pulling permits.”

Neighbors had concerns about sign

The restaurant’s decision to erect the illuminated sign — which will stand more than 40 feet tall and face Bayfront Parkway — was controversial among residents of the historic district, within which the restaurant is located. Owing to its “site specific development” zoning, the restaurant is exempt from the strict sign restrictions to which other properties in the historic district must adhere.

Several residents seemed especially miffed at not having been consulted about the project, and at least six expressed their concerns about the sign in letters to city officials. Many residents, however, seemed appeased after an October meeting with Fish House owner Collier Merrill, which included a demonstration of some of the sign’s elements.

Kerrigan could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

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Editor’s note: Mr. Kerrigan is an advertiser with The Pulse.

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