Several Fountain Valley residents appeared before the city council Tuesday night to speak out against a proposed electric display sign along the 405 Freeway that won't even be addressed by the Planning Commission until next week.
The monument sign, which is being proposed by Mike Thomson's RV would be about 31 feet high and 30 feet wide, both of which considerably exceed the city's regulatory standards. But because Mike Thompson's leases land owned by the city, a different set of standards applies.
[Planning Director] Andy [Perea] has left me with the impression that because Mike Thompson is on city-owned leased land, city code doesn't apply," Leston Trueblood said. "What bothers me the most about this is the alloof and arrogant attitude of city officials toward a favored business."
Although the council wasn't able to address the matter with residents directly because it wasn't on Tuesday's agenda, Perea said after the meeting that in addition to different standards for city-owned land, there are also different standards for signage along the freeway, which has allowed businesses like Hyundai to display larger signage that can be seen from the freeway.
Speaking of Hyudai, local resident Pat Tucker wondered aloud during the meeting whether the automaker, whose new headquarters is being built on the other side of the 405, would object to Mike Thompson's signage because of its ostentatious nature.
"I'm curious what Hyundai would think about lights flashing on their $150 million building," Tucker said. "If we're going to sell our souls, let's just go straight to prostitution. There's a whole lot more money in that than in selling RVs."
The Planning Commission will take up the matter at it regular meeting next Wednesday. The council also approved the early repayment of the city's 1998 tax allocation refunding bonds. The city sold $24.3 million in bonds in 1998 at an average rate of 4.45 percent to refund a 1985 bond issue. The repayment of the bonds is part of the city's obligation to wrap up the affairs of its former redevelopment agency, which was dissolved in February as part of the State Supreme Court's decision in December to dissolve all such agencies statewide.
By repaying the bonds now, the city will remove just under $7 million in debt from the dissolved RDA's obligations, and will also increase the city's property tax apportionment starting with the 2012-13 fiscal year rather than waiting until 2016 when the bonds would originally have been paid out. Finance Director Sherri Holman told the council that by repaying the bonds now, the city can expect to increase its share of property taxes from $134,000 to $295,000 between July and December of this year.