By Eric Heinz

Following the city’s revocation of 18 temporary sign permits, owners of the Outlets at San Clemente said they have filed an injunction against the city of San Clemente regarding its signage in order to compel the municipality.

Steve Craig of Craig Realty Group, which owns and operates the Outlets at San Clemente, said the city has not honored its prior agreements that allow for freeway-oriented signage from more than a decade ago.

“The city promised permanent signs that should have gone up in 2015 and the city has been doing an EIR (environmental impact review) since 2015,” Craig said. “They’ve taken too long.”

Steve Craig, CEO and President of Craig Realty Group, speaks to people prior to the ribbon cutting at the Outlets at San Clemente. Photo: Eric Heinz
Steve Craig, CEO and President of Craig Realty Group, speaks to people prior to the ribbon cutting at the Outlets at San Clemente in 2015. Photo: File

The injunction was not accessible via the Orange County Superior Courts website, but Craig said the legal action is intended to compel the city to allow for the permanent signage for which the Outlets has already agreed.

Cecilia Gallardo-Daily, the city’s Community Development director, said the city had issued some of the permits “in error” because, according to the city’s code, no business can have a temporary sign or banner or something similar visible for more than 120 days in one calendar year. The Outlets have had temporary signage for more than that time, Gallardo-Daily said.

The businesses within the Outlets have been issued fines for the signage. The San Clemente Times has submitted a public records request regarding the fines, but it was not readily available as of press time Wednesday morning.

Currently, there are non-permanent signs emblazoned around the Outlets freeway-facing walls.
The retail center currently has an application filed with the city for permanent signage, but these proposals have been rejected by community members, particularly in the Marblehead area where the signs would face. The signage is proposed to be “halo-illuminated,” which would put low lighting behind the identification.

Craig said the city is bound to a business agreement that was forged 1998 as well as agreements in 2007.

“I expect them to live up to the obligations,” Craig said. “I don’t expect more than what we agreed to.”

Gallardo-Daily said the Outlets has submitted an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, which is expected to be heard Tuesday, Aug. 15, regarding the temporary signage permits.

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comments (3)

  • well its ok you cant have a ladder to install them anyways in san clemente

  • Ha! Steve Craig, what a class act. He threatens the family of an autistic boy in Ruby’s, states he does not care about this town, then gives a less than heartfelt apology. It’s apparent that he doesn’t care. How about, instead of wasting the city’s money, you simply wait for the environmental impact survey to be complete. Maybe donate some of your billions to our local parks, or help out charities for disabled children….just a thought.

  • So first he teams up with Jim Dahl to jamb a project that the majority of residents were against down our throats. The project is a 70’s concept that is well past its hey day and ignores hard trends which is why it has been a financial flop so far.

    Then he keeps temporary signs up forever and is now pursuing more monstrosity signage again. Newsflash Steve, all the signs in the world won’t fix a seriously flawed concept. Your former property in Carlsbad has no signage. No one from the south is driving past the Carlsbad Outlets nor is anyone from the north driving past the Mission Viejo Mall for less selection of the same stores at the same prices.

    Furthermore, adding restaurants with outdoor seating above the parking structure so they have a view and smell of the sewage treatment plant, not gonna work. One peek and sniff and the reviews will tank those places.

    This is San Clemente if you want a success put in a wave pool, instead of more out of town businesses that will not survive solely with the support of the few locals that frequent it.

    Try persuading locals by appealing to them instead of ramming your ill-fated concepts down our throats.

    Lastly, you are on a lot of peoples poop life for accosting a special needs child and his family at Ruby’s. So before you dream up any more ill-fated plans you might consider listening locals instead of attacking them. Until you change how to treat locals the Outlets will only be a once a year venue, if that, for the majority of the residents who are true locals.

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