TRPA gives real estate company deadline to remove signs
October 1, 2007
Whether they’re too mammoth, too bright or too colorful, the need for the many real estate signs sprinkled throughout Incline Village has been an issue among residents for years.
While many speak to real estate companies in general, some residents have pointed fingers at one particular company – Intero Real Estate. An online petition denouncing the company’s use of two specific signs on state Route 28 and Lakeshore Boulevard, the intersection at which Intero resides, has garnered 62 signatures as of Tuesday.
Vivian Lane resident Andy Whyman is one of the penned names on the petition Web site. He said Intero’s signs contribute to a downfall in the natural beauty of Incline and Lake Tahoe.
“For me, it’s part of the uglification of Incline,” Whyman said. “I think there needs to be a hard look at how businesses conduct businesses here. This is a small town with a lot of properties on the market. You see these signs everywhere.”
But for perturbed residents like Whyman, help may be on the way from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency – but not without a fight from Intero’s president.
According to a letter sent from TRPA to Vince Scott, president and chief financial officer of Scott Properties and owner/broker of Intero Real Estate Services, Intero has until Oct. 17 to remove the two signs in question.
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The letter, dated Sept. 17, 2007, confirms TRPA’s decision to reject Scott’s application, which was filed on April 9, 2007, to allow the two “non-conforming, free standing commercial signs to stay in place.” The signs’ non-conformity is because they are located off Intero premises, within a “road right-of-way,” which is not allowed per TRPA code, the letter reads. The letter gives Scott until Oct. 17 to remove the signs, or until Oct. to file an appeal.
“No off-site signal is allowed in the basin; it has to be on the property,” said TRPA spokesperson Jeff Cowen. “They can appeal our decision to the governing board to overturn staff decision, but if not, then it looks like they’d have to be removed by Oct. 17.”
Scott said he plans to appeal by the Oct. 8 deadline because he feels his signs aren’t a nuisance.
“When you look at all the signs out there, I mean 80 percent of the signs in Incline Village don’t conform with TRPA rules,” Scott said. “For them to single us out, it’s unfortunate. But I’ve been singled out before. I’m going to appeal and provide a few detailed reasons why I feel they should be allowed.”
Some citizens are upset over the signs’ color and lighting scheme. TRPA stipulates that signs must not have bright colors or interior lighting. The only lighting allowed is exterior lighting, which involves lights shining up from the ground on the sign’s surface.
Both Intero signs are a maroon color and are equipped with interior lights.
While Clark said he will remove the lighting if that’s what TRPA ultimately decides.
“To me, I think having a wood sign with lights shining on it is more non-conforming than a back-lit sign,” he said. “But to me, that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. I think the answer is a mix of appropriate signage and traffic laws.”
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