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Sign Owner Warned to Seek Compromise

February 02, 2000

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Joel Wachs will seek removal of a giant sign on Ventura Boulevard unless the owner of the Studio City Hand Car Wash comes up with a compromise that satisfies neighbors.

Last year a city panel approved the sign--a giant hand holding a pink Corvette sign--citing its artistic merit.

On Tuesday, carwash owner Benny Forat was warned by Wachs that he will vote to support the appeal of the Studio City Residents Assn. and the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Assns. against the sign unless a compromise is reached that is satisfactory to the two homeowner groups.

"The way in which it was put up was a fairly blatant violation of a whole number of ordinances and there is no justification for that," Dale Thrush, a planning deputy for Wachs, said.

The homeowner groups had filed an appeal to a recent Planning Commission vote granting Forat an exception to the Ventura Boulevard Specific Plan.

At 26 feet, the sign is 6 feet higher than the maximum allowed by the boulevard plan, city hearing examiner Nicholas Brown said. The sign, which features a pink 1957 Corvette atop a large sponge held by a 12-foot-tall hand, takes up 155 square feet of surface, which is 343% more than allowed by the plan.

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