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LED sign proposal moving forward after three years?
A LED electronic display signs is being proposed to go along the 120 Bypass in front of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

What could end up being Manteca’s most high profile sign has been in limbo for three years.

A state-of-the-art electronic LED display sign being pursued at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley is considered a key element by Craig Realty — the outlet mall management firm working to fill vacant store space — for attracting more outlets to the Manteca center.

The Orchard Valley sign was first proposed in early 2011. It was initially held up so public workshops and hearings could be conducted that would allow the sign to go in along the 120 Bypass. The formal application was submitted in July 2012

After hearing the shopping center owners express frustration with progress to date, Councilman Steve DeBrum made it clear he wants to get the approval process completed.

After he made his remarks during Tuesday’s council meeting, staff indicated that center developers had submitted more information earlier that day that the city needed to move forward.

Community Development Director Frederic Clark said the basic issue is city standards that the council adopted that Poag & McEwen must show they are meeting.

Craig Realty — the successful outlet mall developer and manager of complexes in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Texas, Colorado, Chicago and Honolulu among other locations — is working with Orchard Valley to fill nearly 40 line-store spaces with outlets. They have already secured Styles for Less, Banana Republic, Guess, and Vans.

Craig Realty has indicted the LED sign that enables outlet stores to advertise will play a critical role in snaring additional stores. LED signs can display graphics in color.

Ultimately the City Council will make the final decision on the LED sign.

Some of the rules for LED signs include:

u They can’t exceed a height or a sign area that would be a nuisance to neighboring properties or motorists.

u They must be constructed of quality materials and of similar design and architecture as the regional recreation/hospitality center it is advertising.

u The hours of operation and illumination as well as changing images on the electronic display will not create a nuisance to surrounding uses, the vicinity, or traffic.

u The sign shall aid in the generation of sales tax revenue and/or promote the City of Manteca in a positive manner.

u The sign will be maintained in such a manner that the screen is fully functioning at all times. If the screen does develop areas with no or improper illumination that affect the overall quality of the images, the screen shall be turned off until necessary repairs have been made. The city’s Community Development Director has the authority to make such a determination.

Electronic message sign illumination and message rotation would have to comply with Caltrans safety standards as well. Caltrans bans message changes more frequent than every 10 seconds.

Great Wolf Resort — should they end up building a hotel and indoor water park complete with conference center next door to Costco — has also indicated they might be interested in having a LED sign.