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Studio City stores ordered to strip signage

July 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Businesses at a strip mall in Studio City have been put on notice. The city has ordered them to take all of their window signs down. City officials say the excess signage is an eyesore. The businesses say taking down the signs will hurt their bottom line.Business owners in this particular strip mall in Studio City say that a couple days ago they got a letter from the city that is going to ruin their weekend and maybe even their businesses.

"All the signs, they told me to take off. Why?" asked Nick Tsaturyan, who owns Reno's Pizzeria, a restaurant in the strip mall.

Tsaturyan says he got a letter from the city a few days ago ordering him to strip his storefront windows bare of just about everything, including the neon sign that says "Open."

"I was very mad. I said, 'What's going on?' They said someone complained," said Tsaturyan.

Like Nick, U Wash Doggie business owner Francisco Ganero says the city ordered him to scrub his windows clean of most everything over the next few days.

"No open signs, nothing," said Ganero. "They're giving us no room here. The way the economy's going, you know, we're all hurting and trying to improve our business here."

City officials say the L.A. Department of Building and Safety got an anonymous complaint that businesses in this strip mall on the 11000 block of Ventura Blvd. were cluttered with window signs, violating a nearly two-decade-old Ventura-Cahuenga Blvd. corridor-specific plan, which looks to ensure Ventura Blvd., from Studio City to Woodland Hills, isn't overrun with visual blight.

"The city responds to complaints but isn't going out and trying willy-nilly to enforce one sign and not another," said L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian.

Business owner Johann Kretzer was already angry his beloved German soccer team lost a shot at World Cup glory, now he's more upset his signs must go.

"We lost in the World Cup and now they upset me for the stupid, ridiculous, sign to take off," said Kretzer.

City officials say they're willing to give the business an extension, if necessary, to comply with the order.


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