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Local businesses upset over sign ordinance

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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A stretch of businesses are upset over the city’s enforcement of a sign ordinance. The Tuesday before Black Friday, one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year, a city representative visited almost every business in a shopping center along Pacific Street to inform them they were non-compliant with the city’s business sign ordinance, which states that temporary banners and signs must comply with guidelines in regards to size and time displayed. Rock-Land Music, located in the shopping center along Pacific Street, hangs a banner advertising a two and a half cash-back agreement with customers who pay cash. “You’re cash has greater value than your card,” is the message the business wants to publicize. Beth and Van Morin, owners of Rock-Land Music, were cited and asked to take their sign down by 9 a.m. the following morning, less than 24 hours after the citation was issued, according to their document. “We have no monument sign at the center,” Beth said. “Unless you’ve got something big and eye catching, they are not going to see us.” Their sign went up after hearing about the city’s decision to relax the sign ordinance for banners placed outside businesses in Rocklin. However, Beth and Van said they did not receive a formal notification from the city on the guidelines. Dan Lubow, owner of Wild Danz Pizza located within the same shopping center, was also a recipient of a citation. Lubow said he also heard of the easement placed on the business sign ordinance, but received no formal notification from the city. Lubow said being cited for his business banner was one instance the city seemed to be against helping local businesses succeed. “Things are just getting tougher and tougher,” he said. “We’re just hanging by a thread and we’re still bringing money into Rocklin. We don’t seem to be able to get them (the city of Rocklin) to care.” Lubow said it takes three votes from Rocklin City Councilmembers to change the ordinance, but said he isn’t sure how to go about that. Lubow said driving around Rocklin, the empty business spaces may be a sign of where the city is headed. “Is that what they want to happen? Do they just want to kill all business?” Lubow said. Each of the businesses along the center was professionally designed, by local businesses, which gives a fellow Rocklin business clients, Lubow said. Dale Glazer, owner of Rocklin Family Pet Show, said he was also cited for his temporary, transition sign that hangs outside his storefront until he is able to get a permanent lit-up sign made. “If I pull that (sign) down, the traffic stops,” he said. One issue Roy Arriaga, owner of Carte Jewelers at the center, said he has with his citation is that the banners have been up all year long. “Our signs have been up this entire year – December is not the month, not the economic time,” Arriaga said. “The city of Rocklin has to be flexible during these tough economic times.” Rocklin City Manager Carlos Urrutia said the city is willing to work with business owners to comply with the ordinance. “We’re trying to get them compliant,” Urrutia said. “All of these signs are going to have to be in compliance.” Urrutia said the reason for the citations at this particular center is due to size non-compliance. According to city documents, banners and portable signs must be 32-sqaure-feet or smaller. For banners smaller than 32-feet, no permit is currently required as part of the city’s easement on the ordinance. Urrutia said the city wants to work with the businesses to inform them and help them meet the regulations, but the businesses need to be open to following the ordinance. “Because the city relaxed the rules, that was not taken by staff to relax enforcement,” Urrutia said.