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Council approves signage increases for Ridgeview at Vista Glen

August 15, 2008
Santa Paula City Council

Bringing more potential buyers up Hospital Hill to see the new Ridgeview at Vista Glen development was an issue for the City Council, asked at the July 28 meeting to allow the developer more directional signage.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesBringing more potential buyers up Hospital Hill to see the new Ridgeview at Vista Glen development was an issue for the City Council, asked at the July 28 meeting to allow the developer more directional signage. Developer Comstock Homes had asked that the Council amend its Master Sign Plan adopted in May 2007 that limits the number and measurements of street signage.The report by Planning Director Janna Minsk noted that a request for signage along 10th Street/Highway 150 between Harvard Boulevard and Santa Paula Street would have to be on private property, “since Caltrans prohibits commercial signs along the right-of-way.”Two of the proposed locations also proved problematic for staff: the corner of 10th and Harvard Boulevard “because of its proximity to a difficult intersection,” which is a primary exit off Highway 126 and significance as a gateway to the downtown. The second requested sign location near 10th and Ventura streets was also questioned, as it could interfere with traffic visibility.Bob Comstock told the Council he initially wanted to put a banner on 10th Street to lure potential buyers to the 70-plus hillside home development, and after several people made appointments to view the homes they “didn’t show.” Later the potential buyers called sales staff and reported they had stayed on 10th Street/Highway 150, missing the fork at the intersection that continues up 10th Street to the development and winding up in Ojai.
“It is critical to our marketing getting people up the hill,” and Comstock said although the company has been spending about $12,000 a month on advertising, the “most effective dollar spent” is signage.“I would love to see a big sign” at the intersection of 10th Street and Harvard Boulevard, said Mayor Bob Gonzales, who noted perhaps Comstock could contact the property owner - and others where signage would be effective - about placement of same. Councilman Dr. Gabino Aguirre said the development’s lack of signage has surprised him, and he suggested a large photo of one of the homes might be a plus.Councilman John Procter also supported the request, noting, “One thing not brought up that is important to me is the resurrection of Santa Paula Hospital.” The sale of the property to Comstock Homes helped settle the bankruptcy and eased the sale of the hospital campus to the county, which reopened the facility.“It’s an unfortunate time marketwise” for real estate, and Procter said he “wants to help this project as it helped us.” After more discussion the Council approved the plan.