EDITORIAL:

Leave it to a digital sign for a gas station to rile our fair city.

In the matter of Burbank vs. Ted Shachory and his illegal $16,000 digital LED signboard for gasoline prices, clearly someone’s going to have to give.

Perhaps if the electronic sign for his Fleet Fueling station at 800 N. Hollywood Way hadn’t been near the homes of two City Council members, Shachory wouldn’t be in the position having to ask for an after-the-fact zoning variance. On the other hand, he’s given us one of those teachable moments at City Hall — if you break zoning laws, do not seem surprised when consequences come knocking.

But the divergence in opinion about whether city officials overreacted by throwing the book at Shachory’s illegal sign totally misses the point.

When a city negotiates the legitimacy of any law, things can — and often do — snowball into a political morass.

As a community stakeholder, had Shachory really been concerned with the ability to grow his business, he would have lobbied the City Council to change the zoning laws to allow the signs.

Instead, he essentially grabbed and then asked if he could keep it.

That’s no way to improve a situation, and certainly no way to enter City Council Chambers in good graces.


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