: Found this in the newspaper today.. and
: remembered how a while ago people were
: asking why the big LACR Sign was taken
: PALMDALE - Gas station owner Sam Nowyhed
: says his cooperation with the city's
: pole-sign regulation is strangling his
: Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford says he may have
: a solution to Nowyhed's problem if other
: members of the City Council agree to dust
: off a plan shelved years ago.
: This past fall, at City Hall's insistence,
: Nowyhed removed a large pole sign that
: alerted freeway motorists to his AM/PM
: minimart-Arco gas station outlet at 411 West
: Palmdale Blvd.
: Under an ordinance adopted in 1990, all
: businesses in Palmdale were supposed to
: remove their pole signs by September 2005,
: but some have not.
: Since losing his pole sign, his store's
: sales have dropped more than 25% and his
: gasoline sales have dropped nearly 50%,
: Nowyhed said.
: "If nothing happens in another few
: months, I'm putting my store up for sale at
: any price and I'm moving out," he said.
: Other business owners have told him they
: have no intention of removing their pole
: signs because of anticipated losses, Nowyhed
: The sign takedown has already impacted
: freeway-close eateries, which have shown
: drop-offs in business as signs have dropped
: in height and illumination.
: It is unfair for him to follow the rules and
: lose customers if the city is not making
: others take down their signs, Nowyhed said.
: "When people drive on the freeway and
: they see only that the AM/PM sign is down,
: they think I went out of business or that I
: moved out," he said.
: "If all of us remove our freeway signs,
: then the people will understand,"
: Nowyhed said. "It looks like I went out
: of business and everyone else is still
: After 26 years of business at that location,
: "I know for a fact that most of my
: customers are commuters and travelers, not
: neighborhood residents," he said.
: It is that high transiency of customer base
: that is most affected by lowered visibility.
: Chuck McKaughan, senior code enforcement
: officer for Palmdale, said the Palmdale city
: attorney's office is preparing letters
: advising those with pole-signs still
: standing that they are being taken to court.
: Those who already have complied have saved
: themselves a trip before a judge, McKaughan
: "Of all of the different signs that
: were identified (as illegal), which was
: about 170, there are only about 20 that have
: yet to come down," he said.
: Per state law, the city gave all businesses
: with such signs 15 years of use before
: requiring removal, McKaughan said.
: "For all of those folks who still have
: nonconforming signs, the city is preparing
: criminal complaints against them," he
: "You can see the city has been trying
: to give businesses plenty of time to
: comply," McKaughan said.
: "What we are trying to do is get
: voluntary - although sometimes hesitantly -
: compliance" rather than have the city
: obtain the court orders needed to enter a
: business and remove the signs, he said.
: Due to the length of time involved, some
: business owners believe they should be
: allowed to keep their signs, McKaughan
: Because some still refuse to comply,
: Nowyhed's complaint is a valid one, he said.
: "Compliance by 85% of owners is pretty
: good, but we're not going to stop
: there," McKaughan said. "There are
: some people who are going to delay until
: they go to court. … Ultimately, those people
: are going to have to pay (money)" in
: addition to removing their signs.
: Businesses that agree to remove their signs
: without going to court will be given extra
: time to do so because the goal is
: compliance, not punishment, McKaughan said.
: "With all due respect, as a long-time
: businessman, the city should at least help
: those of us who have lost our signs"
: yet must compete against those who are
: flouting the rules, Nowyhed said.
: He suggested the addition of signs like
: those in Acton that advise drivers of food,
: fuel and lodging services at appropriate
: Nowyhed said he has spoken with Caltrans
: officials who seemed to be supportive of
: such signs if the city would endorse the
: "It has to be at least four or five
: businesses participating, and the city has
: to help," he said.
: According to McKaughan, Palmdale has been
: advised that Caltrans allows such signs only
: at towns and cities with fewer than 50,000
: While small businesses are suffering, large
: businesses are allowed to install huge signs
: and erect large towers that are visible to
: freeway motorists, Nowyhed said.
: "We have been here longer than those
: businesses," he said. "I don't
: think that is fair. I think it is
: discrimination. … I am really
: "If we do not make any sound to let the
: customers or the city know about our
: problem, we will disappear," Nowyhed
: Ledford said the size of business's sign is
: controlled by the size of its building and
: pointed out that large towers are available
: only for shopping centers with hundreds of
: thousands of square feet of retail space.
: Ledford also said that shortly after his
: election to the City Council in 1990, he was
: part of a delegation that sought the state's
: permission for the installation of
: business-related signs on the Antelope
: Valley Freeway signs to compensate for the
: implementation of the new pole-sign
: That permission was denied, so the city came
: up with a plan to acquire land near freeway
: exits to install its own signs, Ledford
: "We would work to acquire the
: property" for signs that could be
: erected near off-ramps but outside of the
: state's right-of-way, he said.
: "The idea was to put their logos on the
: signs" advertising the businesses at
: the next exit, Ledford said.
: "I think we had the program ready, and
: it's a matter of resurrecting it" for
: the council's consideration, he said.
: "I think it has a lot of merit and
: would allow fairness for everybody within a
: certain distance of an off-ramp to
: participate - not just the people who can
: afford the biggest pole signs," Ledford
: "I would be glad to bring that back for
: consideration at an upcoming council
: meeting," he said. "I think the
: need to tell people what's available at the
: next off-ramp is a legitimate issue."
: The plan would allow the city to facilitate
: business advertising "in a much more
: aesthetically pleasing fashion that will get
: them attention," Ledford said.
: Pole signs for individual businesses are not
: the answer, the mayor added.
: "Just imagine every business in the
: Trade and Commerce Center specific plan with
: its own pole sign," Ledford said.
: The mayor was referring to the new shopping
: centers around 10th Street West and Rancho
: Vista Boulevard (Avenue P).
: "That would totally defeat the purpose
: of each business's pole sign," he said.
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Remember Drag Racing Is Like Life....Thoes Who Snooz Lose!
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