All new exterior signs need to be permitted before installation. Depending on where your business is located, pulling a permit can take anywhere from a day to several months. Black Bear Diner is a restaurant chain with 82 locations, more than half of which are in California. They were opening another location in Tarzana, which happened to be in the Ventura-Cahuenga Boulevard Corridor. This specific corridor spans from Woodland Hills to Studio City, and affects businesses on Ventura Blvd. and in some areas, a few blocks north and south of Ventura Blvd.
In order to apply for a sign permit in this corridor, additional applications are required and the Department of City Planning must approve the sign design. This results in not only additional fees but additional time to wait for the sign to be reviewed. When it comes to sign permits, whoever is installing the sign is responsible for securing the permit. The exterior signs for Black Bear Diner were already made, but we were contracted to pull the permit and install the signs. Due to the additional steps we had to go through, it took us about 5 months to get the permit. In Los Angeles, we need to go to city hall in person every time we need to submit paperwork or update information to get the permit approved. After the sign was approved, we still had to go through the normal permitting processes.
We were to install two sets of front-lit channel letters and four pole sign faces. Sign faces don’t need to be permitted because the specifications of the sign aren’t changing, just what is being displayed. We did, however, need to pull two permits, one for each channel letter sign. In order to get the exact measurements for the new sign faces, we got a dirty finger during our first site survey. Before coming to install everything, we wanted to come out to make sure that the sign faces matched the size of the retainers. We also sanded and painted the pole sign to match the logo colors better; the pole was originally a light gray and the paint was peeling.
We almost always perform a site survey before installation, and if we’re making the signs, we do the site survey before production even begins. This is to check on electricity access, measurements, and installation procedures amongst other things. The signs are finally up and looking great, and the diner should be ready for customers very soon.