Council to Hear Store's Appeal to Retain Sign

Times Staff Writer

The Glendale City Council has agreed to conduct a public hearing on an appeal by McMahan's Furniture in Glendale to retain a roof sign even though council members have said they intend to enforce an ordinance prohibiting the sign.

The city's sign ordinance was adopted more than 10 years ago, but business owners were given until last year to remove signs that do not conform to the stringent standards.

The City Council last November permitted a another furniture store, Seeley's, to retain its bright red rooftop sign because of its historical significance as the "red beacon of Glendale."

However, because the city has never adopted guidelines for preserving objects and sites with historical significance, the council granted Seeley's a variance for a variety of reasons, such as its need to compete with large signs at nearby car dealerships.

Owners of McMahan's have asked the city for a similar variance because, they said, trees planted by the city in front of the store at 225 S. Brand Blvd. obscure wall signs. They are seeking permission to retain the roof sign for two years until the trees, planted as part of a city beautification project, grow sufficiently to allow storefront signs to be seen by drivers.

Douglas B. Kays, McMahan's attorney, said the store's owners, who have been in business for 50 years, retain "a fair amount of animosity" toward the city because they have lost parking facilities and have been threatened with eviction because of their location in the downtown redevelopment project.

He said owners "are beginning to wonder if the City of Glendale wants us here." Kays said the request for a public hearing before the council is "not too much to ask for a 50-year resident."

Council members agreed by a 4-1 vote. Councilman Jerold Milner, who has voted for strict enforcement of the sign code, voted no.

A public hearing will be held April 2.

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