Planners lambasted over illuminated signs

Pressure is building on the Santa Monica Planning Committee to take down 74 illuminated signs throughout the city after a judge has ruled them to be illegal.

The illuminated signs were erected under a 2008 agreement between the city council and a marketing company. That settlement was invalidated by a High Court judge earlier this month.

But as they weighed their options, the councilís planning felt the wrath of residents, demanding they immediately remove the bright, flashing signs in their neighbourhoods and turn them into ordinary fascia signs. At the same time, representatives from settlement participants Inspire Marketing ó backed by other business interests ó urged the committee not to act hastily because they are lodging an appeal.

Janice Shapiro, chairwoman of the Sedgley Park Residents Association, informed members that she and her neighbours were living in the shadow of huge digital illuminated signs on Santa Monica Boulevard in Salford. "Itís time to end the inconvenience from the blinking lights and noise from the cooling fans," Shapiro said.

Others recounted how they had faced lengthy delays as they have tried to challenge individual illuminated signs through the cityís administration process.

The Council President proposed ordering city officials to "immediately ascertain" whether the 74 illuminated signs should be removed or modified.

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