A six-month squabble with city hall recently ended with a small strip of Valley Village business owners having to ditch their storefront signs for more conspicuous awnings.
An anonymous tip to building and safety inspectors earlier this year led to citing stores along Magnolia Boulevard like Lucky You Resale Boutique and the Plost Office for having signs without the necessary permitting despite having been up for years.
Lucky You's owner Idrea Lippman told Patch in March she worried that her placard, which sat atop her store's front door, would be found out of compliance with code if she was to apply for the proper permits, leaving her to buy a new sign.
Her angst sparked her to lead a small protest in front of her business, but nearly half a year later and considering legal options, the shopping center's landlord agreed to comply with the city's requests, took down the signs and put up an awning that bears the businesses names.
Sewing shop Stitch Cafe was the only business allowed to keep its signage because it had the proper permitting and complied with city codes.
"We knew that we would have to replace [the signs] it was just a matter of time ... and five months after they started we wounded up with awnings," Lippman said. "That's not bad, it was a compromise, but it looks boring."
Bernie Plost, owner of mailbox and shipping shop the Plost Office since 1985, says he's already seen a dip in clientele since being forced to take down signs stating the variety of services he offers.
"It's been quiet, people go the post office across the street all the time they see, for example, the signs I had for making copies, they don't see that sign anymore, they don't see where to go get things done," Plost said.
But Lippman, who also said her store has also been adversely affected since her sign came down, noted a few positive developments in recent months: new restaurant Harvest Moon, located across the street, continues to draw in customers, a new salon moved in a few storefronts down and a new tobacco store recently opened.
"I think the whole area is going to be getting a little bit of the a boost, but no thanks to the city," Lippman said.