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AGOURA HILLS : Group to Battle Pole Sign Measure

September 30, 1993|KURT PITZER

A campaign committee has formed to oppose two Agoura Hills ballot measures that would allow businesses to display tall advertising signs.

Citizens Against Pole Signs filed papers with the city clerk Monday, declaring its intention to fund a campaign supporting the existing rules, which forbid advertisements atop tall poles.

The group opposes an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot, sponsored by local merchants, that would allow businesses to keep their signs, some of which are nearly 100 feet tall. The committee also opposes a measure placed on the ballot by the City Council that would restrict signs to 35 feet, giving them the same height limits that are currently imposed on buildings.

The pole sign issue prompted a series of attempted compromises and harsh accusations between city officials and business owners.

"The city has offered a compromise, which would only lower the height of signs," Kapla said. "But we feel the city did the right thing in the beginning, and that the need for these signs is not as great as everybody seems to think it is."

The Committee Against Pole Signs has so far raised $1,700, Kapla said.

Meanwhile, the war chest accumulated by an opposing committee backed by business owners--who contend they will lose money if their signs are removed--dwarfs the anti-pole fund-raising effort.

That group, Concerned Tax Contributors, has raised $16,400 since July 1, bringing its two-year total to nearly $80,000, according to documents received by the city clerk on Tuesday. The amount is unprecedented in the city's 11-year history.

Nearly $14,000 of the recent contributions were from five companies based outside Agoura Hills that have outlets within the city.

Most of the organization's funds have been spent on research and political consulting fees. The committee may use some of its war chest to fund cable TV commercials, consultant Linda Harmon said.

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