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By Eric Heinz
Since the start of 2017 to July 6, locations at the Outlets at San Clemente have been fined $16,400 for not removing temporary signs in accordance with the city’s ordinances. Extensions were filed by the companies in order to allow for the 18 signs, but the city recently rejected the latest extensions for the signs after Planning Commission rejected all but six.
The main battle going on with the Outlets signage identification—which in an agreement made more than a decade ago, ensures the mall’s ability to post freeway-oriented signage—is that Craig Realty Group, owners of the Outlets, are trying to put in permanent signage at their locations. But there has been pushback from locals who claim they would be affected by the signage and have contributed to the application’s stall.
Many of those who protested at recent meetings said the signage would decrease their home value due to the increased lighting, in addition to other reasons.
The Outlets proposed putting up halo signage, or backlight silhouette signs, that are intended to be less intrusive.
The Outlets obtained the agreement for permanent signage with the city years ago, but because certain aspects of the environmental review were left out, people who were opposed to the signage protested and a new review was required.
Cecilia Gallardo-Daily, the city’s community development director, said the city is conducting a new environmental impact report for the Outlets permanent signage.
“The city is currently preparing a supplemental environmental impact report. The report is expected to be reviewed by the city, and (City Council) must accept the analysis into the EIR,” Gallardo-Daily said. “When the study is finished, then they can find the publication dates and hearing dates that would follow. There’s a 45-day public comment period. During that time, the city wants to have at least one Planning Commission study session.”
Gallardo-Daily said the public comments will be added to the final draft before it is approved. The issue has not yet been scheduled for a future Planning Commission meeting.