Planning commission approves store signs
Orland's Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit Thursday for a new pole sign advertising Grocery Outlet at the Stony Creek Square Shopping Center.
City Manager Peter Carr issued a statement on the vote which should clear the way for the grocery chain to come to the center in April.
Carr said public comment was 100 percent positive toward the sign, and planning commissioners were satisfied with the project.
The proposed 100 foot tall sign will sit on two poles with 675 square feet of advertising space per side, Carr said.
It will be located alongside Interstate 5 at the northwest corner of the shopping center.
He added the existing shorter and smaller sign on South Street will be remodeled.
The taller sign is to prominently feature future tenants Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree, and include a red-on-black electronic display to advertise other tenants in the shopping center, he said. The shorter sign also has a panel to advertise the Orland Inn motel.
Current Orland municipal code regulates sign location, height and surface area among other considerations, Carr said.
Company owner Joe Hupp, applying on behalf of his shopping center client, said efforts will be made to make the signs attractive "for a mile in either direction on I-5."
Center owner Rick Thomas of Santa Rosa has said he is trying to bring the empty shopping center back to its former glory from the 1980s and 1990s.
He said recently having anchor stores like Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree would help attract other tenants to the center and bring more traffic into the four businesses currently there.
Thomas also said he has a tentative agreement with Grocery Outlet, and the signs permit will help meet lease requirements.
Former Mayor Wade Elliott is quoted as saying approval of the sign is a "message to businesses that they are wanted and welcomed in Orland."
Elliott did not seek re-election to the City Council in 2012 and is now a private citizen.
Businesswoman Trish Saint-Evens also is quoted as favoring the signs.
"I like the signs," she said. "I like the way they look. Let's do this," Carr's release said.
City Planner Scott Friend recommended approving the application and noted the new sign will be taller and larger than most of Orland's other freeway signs.
Planning Commissioner Claire Arano said "I think the signs should be made as visible as possible to bring in shopping dollars.
In other business, city staff discussed a new public parking lot to be located on Fifth Street and suggested the commission look at regulation of sidewalk, sandwich board signs at its next meeting, officials said.