SCSQUARED halfBy Christy MacBride-Hart, San Clemente

The San Clemente City Council is considering a ban on all signs facing the freeway. A complete ban on these signs seems ludicrous to me in a town that depends on sales tax for a large part of its budget. Although we often search the Internet for a particular type of store, when driving down the freeway we depend on signs to find a place to eat, to get coffee, to buy a few groceries. Even locals will notice a place based on its sign and visit it at a later date.

I agree there should be no new signs on long poles reaching up to the freeway.

I agree there should be no giant monument video sign like at Westminster Mall.

I agree to no glut of billboards like along the 405 through Long Beach.

I agree no ad wrapped buildings like near LAX.

But zero signs facing the freeway? Does that mean Staples will have to remove the sign over its front door because it can be seen from the freeway?

Why can’t the City Council find some compromise that won’t be so harmful to local businesses?

Editor’s note: Freeway-facing signs and freeway-engaging signs have been defined separately in the city of San Clemente sign ordinance, which can be found at under the Planning Commission’s Jan. 20 meeting agenda.

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comments (1)

  • In todays world of informed buyers signage directing people to a business is no longer relevant. Signs were a big deal when we had to dig through Thomas Bros maps to find our way but not anymore. Spending for ads in phone books and printed publications have been replaced with Google Ads which are far more targeted and effective.

    We live in a world where people value their time more than before and depend on technology to determine where they are going before they jump in there cars. They use this technology to help avoid the horrible traffic we face …. this technology (like Google Maps pinpoints feature) can even tell you the more and less busy times to go.

    What the city or chamber of commerce might consider doing is host workshops to help our businesses embrace and better leverage driving traffic to their doorsteps and websites in todays modern age.

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