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Super size signs causing indigestion and bites in Glendale

Glendale is cracking down on oversized fast food signs.
Glendale is cracking down on oversized fast food signs.
Photo by Roadsidepictures via Flickr Creative Commons

Glendale is looking to chop down super size signage from the streets of the Jewel City. Recent outspoken arbiters of taste and beauty, the Glendale City Council is targeting large pole signs often associated with fast food chains. 

A council member, perhaps suffering from acid reflux-induced insensibility, took a verbal bite at East L.A. as officials were directed to find codes that will force companies to remove offending beacons, reports the Glendale News Press

"It’s a matter of aesthetics," said Councilman Ara Najarian. "These signs are something you see in East L.A." Under the first phase of the effort, Glendale would give businesses two years to comply with city size restrictions due to the protracted recession and high costs involved.

The signs — most of which are on West Glenoaks and Verdugo boulevards and Honolulu, La Crescenta and North Pacific avenues — are too big, according to city code. Some reach as high as 25 feet, with surface areas of up to 200 square feet, far larger than the 6- to 8-foot height limits. The city also restricts surface areas to between 40 and 75 square feet.

In all, 60 oversized messages -- many corporate logos and chain signs -- are allegedly garishing Glendale. The proposed rule, however, would do little to immediately change that.

The city can only enforce when an attempted amendment is made to an existing sign, and long-term leasers like fast food chains, are less likely to make sign changes. The businesses most quickly to be affected are likely the mom-and-pop shops.

Councilman Rafi Manoukian agreed with a hard enforcement of the two-year period, saying he’d prefer to have a level playing field, but he still disagreed with the overall principal of the ban. 

"We continually keep doing things in this city that are not beneficial to existing business," Manoukian said. To rid Glendale of all oversize pole signs, officials city would have to do a survey of all illegal signs, including marquees and those on walls. 

The council will initially vote on a limited two-year proposal.