Elk Grove Planning Commission Rejects Sign Request, 'Disappointed' Applicant to Seek Relief From City Council

July 18, 2014 | Following an unusual sequence of events, the Elk Grove Planning Commission rejected a controversial proposal for a 7...

July 18, 2014 |

Following an unusual sequence of events, the Elk Grove Planning Commission rejected a controversial proposal for a 76-foot tall billboard at their Thursday night regular meeting. 

By a 4-1 vote, commissioners rejected the proposal which sought to locate the massive sign on the east side of Highway 99 between Elk Grove Boulevard and Bond Road. 

Following a presentation by the applicant for the billboard, Bruce Bishop of Fairfield, Calif.-based Monument Markers, commissioners had expressed willingness to approve a shorter billboard with some modifications. Among the modifications discussed by the commission were shortening the billboard to 55-feet in total height, removal of a large fiberglass elk that would have topped the sign, and the use of so-called routed panels that would provide a consistent background for each of the nine-advertisement panel on the structure. 

During deliberations commissioner Frank Maita said that following the city's approval of the new highway sign ordinance, this first billboard would be precedent-setting and that he wanted something that reflected well on the community. 

"This is a reflection of the city at large," Maita said. "And how we set this sign up and what it looks in the future has an impact on even attitudes about the people and city in general."

Although they initially expressed willingness to approve a shorter structure, as the commission deliberated the matter, they wanted more details on a last minute billboard design Bishop submitted. That design is the so-called alternative B pictured above.  

When  the commission asked Bishop if he would be willing to continue the matter to a date-certain meeting and return with more information on routed panels, he said he was unwilling to do so.  
"I have seen so many badly designed signs where they all have uniform backgrounds," Bishop said. "I request you deny the application so that I can appeal the decision."  

A motion was made to approve the proposal but lost with Commissioner Sparky Harris casting the sole affirmative vote. Harris had said at this and the previous hearing on the matter that he supports tall billboards as an aid to highway travelers. 

After the hearing Bishop said that he was disappointed with the vote, but would appeal it to the city council.  

Elk Grove gas station and fast food developer Gil Moore, who successfully lobbied city council members to gut the city's billboard ordinance, attended the meeting but left before the matter was heard. Bishop had spoken on behalf of Moore and McDonald's during the series of meetings that led to the highly criticized and controversial decision favoring Moore, a large campaign contributor to four of the five current council members.   

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Anonymous said...

Spoken: "....appeal it to the city council."
Not said but understood: ... where it will be overwhelmingly approved.
Wait for it...

Kool Aid Drinkers Unite said...

Very surprised, or not, that Sparky Harris had no problem with the 76 foot sign; probably the first of many from this guy brought to Elk Grove by Gil Moore.

No coincidence, or is it, that Harris is Steve Detrick's appointee to the planning commission?

So are they serving grape or cherry Kool Aid these days?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Rubber Stamp Commission for doing the right thing. Now we get to watch the power of campaign contributions from our living room chairs--pass the popcorn please!

William M. 'Billy' Costigan Jr. said...

Actually the planning commission did the city council a big favor by denying the request. Now Bishop will have to plea his case to the individual council members (or Assembly candidate) and what better way to plea your case than with a well-timed campaign contribution.

The guys in Providence would be proud with this shake-down!

Anonymous said...

Following an unusual sequence of events, the Elk Grove Planning Commission rejected a controversial proposal for a 76-foot tall billboard at their Thursday night regular meeting.


Anonymous said...

Bishop should come back with a proposal for the world's largest ball of yarn, topped with his sign. The Clark Griswald's of the world would surely come!

Anonymous said...

50 yards!

Anonymous said...

It is about time that the developers get push back.

They can't have their way all the time.

Look what a huge sprawling mess Elk Grove has become.

No character, no culture, just miles of bland subdivisons, fast food joints, strip malls.

Anonymous said...

My first thought about the sign was that we heard nothing from the local business owners who are paying for this sign and how important it is to them. Just a sell job by someone who has no investment in the community...sells his product and runs. The bigger...the more money in his pocket. The h--- with what the community wants. Planning, in large part, spoke for us...now we'll see who the City Council speaks for---their wallets or the people, in keeping the size down to a reasonable height of 52'-55'. It works for the Auto Mall........

Anonymous said...

New sign vendor wanted:
Alternative "C" should depict the following:
- Height 76'
- existing 9 panels replaced with 4 panels
-- replacement panels are photos of Davis, Hume, Detrick and Cooper.
-- on each photo, detail amount of campaign donations from Gil Moore, Gil Moore's wife and Moore Oil.
- Replace elk with seated caricature of a top-hatted, fat cat smoking a cigar.
-- waistcoat drawn with Hawaiian pattern.
- Replace "Laguna-Bond" with "Elk Grove."

This would be the most realistic representation of Elk Grove.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 9:47, as a local business owner I can't afford to pay the fee to advertise on freeway signage, whether or not the sign is 50 feet or 75 feet high. I believe the proposed sign is strictly for large corporate advetizers, such as AM/PM, Chevron, Mickey D's, etc. Nine panels on a 75 foot sign the cost per sign will be way to expensive for us local mom and pop's.

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