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Corona del Mar Today

July 03, 2010|By Amy Senk

Median Sign To Go Back To City Council

Striking a balance between what looks like bedsheets hanging between two saggy poles and a $42,000 electronic message board, the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board approved a new sign proposal that will go before the City Council for approval.

The latest plan involves permanent metal posts, powder-coated in a dark green, that will go in the East Coast Highway median at Marguerite Avenue near the dolphin topiaries. Banners would be standardized in size and material, and they would be installed using cross bars so they fit properly and don't sag. The cost will be about $2,000, board members said at their June district meeting.

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The group rejected a signpost model that had a decorative scroll and "Corona del Mar" added on the top.

Community groups, the Chamber of Commerce and city events planners use the sign to advertise community events, and city officials install the banners on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently there is no standard for signs, so often they droop and sag in a way that looks like a bed sheet, City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner has said.

Last summer, the district asked for city staff to come up with possible solutions, and staff proposed an electronic message board that could have cost as much as $42,000. But city council members said the cost and the "Las Vegas-ish" appearance of such a sign was not appropriate for the Corona del Mar village.

Groups that want to use the space for events will have to provide banners that fit the sign posts according to specifications that the city will provide.

"People are going to have to spend more money on the banners," Gardner said. "But some of them have been pretty cheesy. If they don't want to do it, they don't have to use this site."

She added that other areas with banners, like near the Oasis Center on Fifth and Marguerite avenues, could follow the Corona del Mar example.

Banners in the new format would cost about $125.

The district board will work with Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce President Linda Leonhard to make a proposal to the City Council, possibly in late July. That proposal will be for the sign posts to be installed, and for the Corona del Mar events to have priority in advertising.

When no signs are installed, the green poles will remain but blend in with the background, district members said.

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