DOWNEY - The owners of a local shopping plaza received greater leeway this week in their plans to install new signage on Lakewood Boulevard.Officials with Gallatin Plaza, located at Gallatin Road and Lakewood Boulevard, appeared before the City Council on Tuesday to appeal an April 15 decision by the Planning Commission that permitted a 20-foot, street-facing sign but with various conditions. One of the conditions was a maximum of four tenants on the sign. Ralph's grocery store anchors the shopping center. Ralph's would occupy two of the four slots and McDonald's another, leaving only one slot available for 14 remaining tenants, said Milton Solomon, an architectural design specialist who spoke Tuesday on behalf of the shopping center. Solomon was asking for six slots. "It's an ugly center, something needs to be done," said Solomon. The City Council agreed and unanimously approved his appeal. "I don't see a difference between four and six," said Mayor Mario Guerra. "I would have voted for eight." Current city codes limit the size of shopping center marquees but not the number of slots that can be made available for tenants. The number of panels is arbitrary and at the discretion of the Planning Commission. And "that's a problem," according to Councilman Roger Brossmer, a former planning commissioner. "I can't believe we just pick a number," Brossmer said. Councilmen David Gafin and Luis Marquez echoed similar sentiments. Councilwoman Anne Bayer, meanwhile, was noncommittal on the issue. "I'm going to pass on this one," Bayer said. "I don't care either way."
********** Published: July 17, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 13