Paint Merchant Pleads to Fly More Banners


Larry LaCasse, the owner of two paint stores in the city, wants to put up more banners to let customers know about coming sales.

But under the city’s sign ordinance, he said, he is only allowed to put up 14 banners every three months. If he tries to sneak one by code enforcement and puts up one more than he’s supposed to, he said, city officials are all over him.

“It’s insane,” LaCasse said. “I’m getting threats of prosecution and everything.”

So LaCasse last week took his complaint to the City Council, where he spoke for 12 other business owners in Costa Mesa who oppose the banner restrictions and seek a change in policy.


“Our entire life savings are on the line,” he told the council during a public hearing. “Putting up signs one day a week is not enough.”

LaCasse said the banners stimulate business, and he asked the council to consider amending the policy to allow 36 banners every three months.

Perry Valantine, the city’s planning manager, said that if the sign ordinance is to be amended, it will take place at the Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 9. But he said the idea behind the 14 banners per quarter is to regulate the amount of signs in the city.

“Otherwise you defeat the sign ordinance,” he said. “It’s just not the kind of thing that improves the image of the city if everybody is flying a banner all the time.”

Valantine said restrictions have become less stringent over the years. It used to be that businesses could only put up the 30 banners a year, but now they are allowed to let them fly 56 times a year.