Illegal Signs Installed by Palisadian-Post

Two large, illegal signs, advertising a business that occupies about three percent of the 881 Alma Real building, went up on two rooftop parapets on Saturday, Aug. 5.

The signs, displayed on a building owned by Eri Kroh, gives the impression that the Palisadian-Post is the building’s major tenant. In reality, the building is also the home of Fancy Feet Dance Studio, Gerry Blanck’s Martial Arts Center, Groza Tutoring, Academy of Technology, Art and Music, numerous dental and medical offices, fusionZONE Automotive and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

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In 2015, the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board (DRB) denied the proposed Palisadian-Post signs, based on three sections of the town’s Specific Plan. This plan was initially certified in 1985 and all nonconforming signs had to be removed within five years. 

The community leaders who developed the Specific Plan wanted to halt and eliminate the proliferation of commercial signage and billboards in the business district, which was making the Palisades look like a mini Las Vegas. Once an over-sized sign was removed, a future business owner could not try to install a large new sign at the top of the building. 

Photograph by Clifford Clearwater, 1956. Courtesy of Pacific Palisades Historical Society / Zola Clearwater Collection

Photograph by Clifford Clearwater, 1956. Courtesy of Pacific Palisades Historical Society / Zola Clearwater Collection

The DRB ruled that the proposed Palisadian-Post signs violated three sections of the Specific Plan.

Section 13.B.1 of the plan states: The total sign area shall not exceed two square feet for each of the first 20 feet of building frontage which is adjacent to a public access way and one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage which exceeds the first 20 feet.

The Post signs are larger than the prescribed size.

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Section 13.B.3 states: For all buildings occupied by several businesses or uses, the size of signs pertaining to each business or use is governed by the proportion of the building frontage occupied by that business or use.  

The Palisadian-Post occupies one small office (less than 3,000 sq.-ft.) on the second floor in a three-story, 89,856 sq.-ft. professional building with multiple tenants.

Section 13.B.4 has been violated because the sign that faces La Cruz is not permitted. There is no parking lot or public entrance on that side of the building.

In April 22, 2016, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning agreed with the Design Review Board, but the signs still went up. Why?

The city failed to announce its decision in a timely fashion. Palisadian-Post owner Alan Smolinisky had his lawyer take the city to court over the delay, through the Permit Streamlining Act.

According to that Act, L.A. Code 652956, “In the event that a lead agency or a responsible agency fails to act to approve or to disapprove a development project within the time limits required by this article, the failure to act shall be deemed approval of the permit application for the development project.”  

On March 29, 2017, Superior Court Judge Amy D. Hogue said the City had taken too long to submit its decision and that the illegal signs could go up.

Community Council President Maryam Zar said she had spoken to several lawyers, but they told her it wasn’t feasible to sue the city.

Resident Ted Weitz, an attorney, disagreed. “In my opinion, the action by the Palisadian-Post in not accepting the findings and recommendations of the DRB, the determination by the city, and later by the Area Planning Commission, that the Post’s signs were improper, warrants a formal response action by the Community Council.” 

 

One Comment

  1. I think the signs look great!

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