Commissioner Marc Sarnoff's office felt that it didn't belong there. His office argued back and forth with the building department and Van Wagner, the sign company, even though they had a permit to have the sign there. Van Wagner is a big shot in the sign biz, and this one small sign may not amount to much for them, but they wanted the sign to stay. The city dug up the streets and put a lot of time, money and effort into planting that sign right on Grand Avenue at Virginia Street. But it was finally removed.
The sign rules have changed over the years, but an agreement that went back to 1988 or 1989 says thta this type of digital sign does not belong in Coconut Grove, due to the Grove's historic streets.
The agreement against this type of sign never made it in writing onto the city's sign contract, but it was mentioned in public at a commission meeting back then.
"It wasn't an easy thing to find," said Ron Nelson, Sarnoff's chief of staff, talking about the proof in the old transcripts. They literally had to go through microfilm transcripts of the commission meeting from when the order was stated against this type of sign. It took time and work, but they went out of their way to come up with the proper documentation in the form of a transcript. No internet here, they dug through the actual microfilms. There's a lesson there too - what is said in public at a public meeting is binding. Good for that.
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