And another one bites the dust

Published on Thu, Aug 29, 2002 by Meg Olson

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And another one bites the dust

By Meg Olson

Last week two of the city’s D Street giants came down, making Blaine a little more mysterious, and city director of community and economic development Terry Galvin hopes more attractive, to freeway travelers. “It has dramatically reduced clutter in the skyline,” Galvin said after the 90-foot sign at the closed ARCO gas station and the 60-foot empty sign frame at Northwoods Motel next door were both removed on August 21.

Since the adoption of the new Blaine sign ordinance in July 2001, which limits signs to 25-feet in height, Galvin and his staff have worked to get towering signs lowered or removed, especially the dense cluster of signage giants at the foot of D Street.

After being closed for a year the D Street ARCO station lost its legal non-conforming status, which owner Fred Pakzad had been struggling to preserve since he purchased the station from ARCO in 1999 and began operating as a franchise.

When he bought the station Pakzad agreed to post a $10,000 performance bond and meet city requirements for signage and landscaping. “There were two fundamental conditions to reopen that station and they weren’t met,” Galvin said. The city had been unable to compel Pakzad to meet those obligations, Galvin said, and so used the bond money to do it themselves. He added that a operator leasing the site from Pakzad had now reapplied to the city to reopen the station as a Shell outlet.

The removal of the Northwoods sign was a surprise, Galvin said. “The beauty of this was that as they were taking down the ARCO sign the owner of the motel approached the crew and asked them to take their sign down too,” he said.

“We want to encourage a different look for that automotive area, with great landscaping and low profile signs,” Galvin said.

The latest sign removals bring the total of signs disappearing from the skyline this year to three. When the gas station at the corner of D Street and the freeway off-ramp was demolished in the spring, they were compelled to remove their 50-foot sign as well. .

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