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NEW SIGN REGULATIONS CALLED SHORTSIGHTED

Boydean Frazier, owner of AA Alpine Security Storage, believes if he'd been a little more visible during the time he was requesting permission to put up a taller sign for his business at 720 N. 1340 West, his request might have been granted.

But then, visibility is the problem.AA Alpine Security Storage is one of a handful of businesses located on the west side of the interstate through Orem that suffers under the current and newly revised sign ordinance. That ordinance spells out a different set of rules for those on the east side than the west side.

For instance, an east-side business located in a "pocket" can put up a sign high enough to counterbalance the loss of elevation. Using the grade of the freeway as the base measurement, they can erect a sign as high as 45 feet tall if necessary.

Businesses on the west are restricted to 24 feet in height, no exceptions.

Thus, Frazier cannot have a sign tall enough to be seen from the freeway by passing motorists. AA Alpine's present sign is barely visible from southbound lanes and not at all obvious to northbound traffic.

He figures he's losing thousands of dollars each month in point-of-contact sales and rentals that go elsewhere because no one knows he's there. "If we kept full, we'd be bringing in $15,000 to $30,000 more a month. That's a lot of money," said Frazier. "I figure we lose at least the $15,000 because we don't get to take advantage of any drive-by customers."

Harold Dudley, associate planner for Orem city, explained that businesses on the east are in a highway services zone generally regarded as dependent on foot traffic sales while the west side is a manufacturing and industrial zone.

"You have to draw the line somewhere, and the City Council felt it should be drawn at the freeway," said Dudley.

Frazier sent his request for a variance to the city via an agent with Cramer Signs, Jose Dicenzio, who probably was too easily put off, he said.

The City Council denied the request, propelled by council member Judy Bell, who said allowing the single exception would open the door to "garbage signs all along the west side." Bell said making the exception would basically undermine the work put in by those who revised the sign ordinance just months before Frazier made his request.

However, if Frazier had raised a sign before the ordinance was revised, he could have put up a 35-foot tower, said Dudley.

Dudley said Frazier now needs to provide a solution for the city before officials can comfortably help him. Frazier's business is one of few along the west side that could make a case for needing the visibility, said Dudley.

Frazier said businesses on either side of his have taller signs. Dudley said those either come under the grandfather clause - such as the Texaco sign to the north - or are not freestanding sign boards, like Enrich International's sign on the top of their building.