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Mayor: Carson’s Should Have Known Better

Restaurant chain went through the process six years ago and understood the regulations.

Carson’s Restaurant should have had an inkling the sign it installed over the summer to replace a damaged one would cause a problem with Deerfield officials.

The Village Board of Trustees made that clear Monday when it unanimously denied Carson’s appeal for an exception to the language requirements of the ordinance becauae the restaurant chain ignored the rules and had a short memory.

Earlier: Village Board Rebukes Carson’s Sign Violation

“When you were before the Appearance Review Commission in 2006 your sign had a lot of verbiage,” Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said to Carson’s representative Ron Rosenbloom. “The Appearance Review Commission said so and we did too.”

At that time the sign was modified to meet regulatory requirements saying only the date the business was established in addition to its name. The new sign has the name in the center with “prime steaks” on top and “famous barbeque” beneath.

The problem with the new sign is its mention of a specific food type, “prime steak,” according to Village Manager Kent Street.

This time, rather than seek approval of the Appearance Review Commission, Carson’s installed it on its own. That too was part of the problem.

“Had you gone through the process and had a dialogue with us in good faith I might be inclined to make an exception,” Trustee Mary Oppenheim said. “We feel you’re not playing by the rules.”

After the Village discovered the violation, it sent Carson’s a letter July 11 informing the company of the infraction. A second letter followed August 14 and on Sept. 24 the Appearance Review Commission acted retroactively denying the request. The appeal followed.

Rosenbloom argued the new sign was near compliant. He also talked about the language being nothing more than a description of the company’s products.

“It’s an identification mark, an extension of the name,” Rosenbloom said. “It’s a nice sign, placed property and it complies with all of the requirements except one. It does not affect the health or welfare of Deerfield.”

Rosenthal was not persuaded. “Just because it’s done does not move us to ignore the regulation,” she said. “We like to keep our signs simple.”

Trustee Alan Farkas used some of the strongest language to express his unhappiness at Carson’s disregard for the sign ordinance. “When you treat us like this it’s a slap in the face of the ARC (Appearance Review Commission),” he said.

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Bringin' Down Briarwood November 09, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Think about your argument. If the Board truly believes the sign standards are too harsh, that makes their actions even more silly. Stop running in circles with these bureaucratic details. Check the ego at the door, offer them a take-it-or-leave-it fine and get to work on something that matters.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 09, 2012 at 05:40 AM
My favorite line of the meeting from Mr.Farkas, "You are asking us to approve a slap in the face to the ARC ... and deciding to evade the procedures that we have in place for a commission that puts in hard work, that does what is required of them." Said another trustee, "We don't feel you played fair with us." Now, tell me this isn't an ego-driven, p******g match. They weren't anywhere this knowledgeable/prepared about the topic when the mall developer was trying to rake the village over the coals. And it tells me all I need to know about the independence of this group that the five other trustees didn't say a peep about a topic that holds so little political value. Kids, nobody cares!!!!!! Fine them and move along.
DeerfieldResident November 09, 2012 at 04:37 PM
In my dreams we have a Portillo's in town. I drive to Vernon Hills all the time now and it's always busy. What a concept...a busy restaurant. Portillo's would draw people from all the surrounding areas too.
Harry Steindler November 09, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Signs I noticed driving around town this morning: Trax "Tavern and Grill", McDonald's "Drive through", a bank with "24 Hour ATM". Deerfield Tire Company with a secondary sign advertising "Bridgestone", Panera "Bread" - Seems consistent with "Carson's Prime Steaks / Famous Barbecue". I somewhat get that the board was unhappy with Carson's procedures - but, please, be smart, take this up again at the next meeting and approve their request - it would be best for the community.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 09, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Gone but not forgotten: Borders ... Books and Music. http://o2.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/600x450/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/985870418ef556cffced573aee51920b If you're going to waste my time and tax dollars, at least be consistent about it.

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