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Open Homes • 09-25-14

Diner’s Owners Go to the Wall to Protect Their Sign
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:33
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Owners of  Boulevard Burger have installed the three-foot sign inside the restaurant. The non-conforming illuminated sign was removed last week in response to a county order.

 

 

 

By Robert Souza

CASTRO VALLEY FORUM

 

 

 

 

That embattled BLVD sign that was ordered removed from the front of a Castro Valley diner last week, has been resurrected.

The owners of Boulevard Burger have reinstalled its three-foot letters on the back wall inside the restaurant, where, presumably, it will be safe from the long arm of the law.

The illuminated sign, which had beckoned the hungry to the ’50s-style diner for more than two months, was taken down at the beginning of last week after the owners were given a 10-day deadline by Alameda County code-enforcers to remove it or face daily fines.

Whether that will be the end of the controversy remains to be seen. Over the past week, the issue turned into one of local control versus the county’s authority.

Castro Valley businessman and civic leader Steve Ontiveros, who said he liked seeing the sign everyday, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It feels like we’re at the mercy of Alameda County instead of local residents who are actually here every day.”

But Marc Crawford, a member of the Municipal Advisory Council, defended the county’s action saying it is not always popular to enforce the rules, but that Castro Valley had agreed to live by the county’s regulations.

“The owners admitted what they did was wrong and they were aware they needed to submit a sign review,” Crawford told the Forum. He said that without standards and regulations for signs, businesses could basically do anything they wanted.

In her Letter to the Editor this week (see page 15), Michele deCesare said: “I find the idea that the county can demand a business owner remove a clean sign that has not even a hint of impropriety, and provide no avenue for discussion or appeal, to be absolutely appalling.

“I agree that rules and regulations are necessary,” her letter continued, “but there must be an opportunity for the business owner to challenge those rules in a fair, and unbiased arena.”

Boulevard business owner Mel Speed believes the 1993 Castro Valley Central Business District Plan regulating signs could use an update to be more in line with how modern businesses advertise themselves through signage.

“I did not see the sign to be out of place at all,” explained Speed, who said he believes “options for more local control need to be looked at.”

 

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