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Sign battle costing business

Manteca Industrial Park firms get 12-month reprieve

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Sign battle costing business

Code enforcement officers will stop seizing Weber’s BBQ A-frame signs and those of other Manteca Industrial Park businesses for the time being.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED June 5, 2014 1:42 a.m.

Manteca’s elected leaders don’t want to put the hard-to-find Weber’s BBQ out of business or other small businesses now populating the Manteca Industrial Park.

The City Council Tuesday suspended enforcement of Manteca’s off-site sign ordinance rules for 12 months for the city’s original business park to give staff time to devise guidelines reflecting the area’s “unique situation.” The regulations governing all other off-site signs elsewhere in the city will remain in effect.

Carissa Weber told the council they suffer more than a 50 percent loss in business when the city takes their off-site signs typically found along Industrial Park Drive.  She said it has gotten to the point where they may have to close their business that’s tucked deep in the business park at the corner of Mellon Avenue and Wetmore Street. She also noted the code enforcement officer just seizes the signs and has them destroyed costing the family owned business some $2,600 to date for the professionally produced A-frame signs.

Ironically, it was the Weber’s sign back in 2011 that started the process rolling for new rules of off-site signs that the council adopted last year. And unlike in other cases where the city waits for a complaint to enforce sign rules, it took it upon itself to enforce them against Weber’s BBQ because the sign happened to be on the corner where the city was breaking ground for the new animal shelter. Similar signs for previous restaurants located where Weber’s BBQ is today stood on the corner of Wetmore and Main without the city removing them.

Community Development Director Fredric Clark indicated Tuesday the rules put in place do not work for the business park built in the late 1970s.

Clark said a backlog of planning applications that have state mandated processing deadlines has delayed staff devising workable solutions to present to the council.

In the mean time, Clark was worried that keeping the current sign rules in place would lead to closures of not just the restaurant but other service orientated firms effectively creating blight.

The city spent more than a year working with a citizens committee to devise the current sign rules that include off-site signs, pole banners, and “human” signs.

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