Lake Elsinore Continues To Rebrand Itself: New LED Sign, Street Banners On Tap

A new LED sign at the 15 Freeway -- just north of The Diamond Stadium -- is being proposed, along with street banners and light-pole signs.

During a regularly scheduled meeting of the Lake Elsinore Planning Commission Tuesday night, it was decided the city could benefit from more signs – including a massive LED sign at the 15 Freeway -- that promote community events and services.

In the first vote by commissioners Tuesday, a resolution was passed 5-0 that recommends City Council amend an existing zoning ordinance to allow for overhead street banners and upscale, light-pole hanging signs that promote large-scale community events, such as the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix, Frontier Days, and others. Prominent roadways, such as historic Main Street, are tapped for the proposed signs.

Additionally, commissioners voted 4-1 to recommend to City Council that it approve a large LED billboard-type sign on the west side of the 15 Freeway at East Franklin Street, just north of The Diamond Stadium. The more than 50-foot-tall sign would incorporate the Storm’s name and famous “eyes” logo into the design (see attached graphic), and would display rotating paid advertisements in addition to an unpaid 8-second City of Lake Elsinore ad every 10 minutes. Storm Baseball would get 16 seconds of advertising every minute.

Both votes come as city leaders are working to capitalize on Lake Elsinore’s promise as a top Southern California outdoor destination, with existing attractions like , , fishing and boating on the lake, , , nearby hiking trails in the Cleveland National Forest, and , to name a few.

Lake Elsinore resident Kimberly Ryan, owner of Tulips, Trophies & Treasures on Main Street, said she supported both initiatives Tuesday night, but stressed the importance of keeping any signage up to date and in good condition. Additionally, she supported the idea of bringing on an advisory committee -- comprised in part of local artisans from the newly formed Studio 395 -- to help ensure signage contributes to the city’s overall branding efforts.

Robin Golden of Studio 395 was on hand Tuesday, pitching her organization’s willingness to lend input on banners, signs and murals that might get displayed in the city.

“I really hope you listen to what Robin is saying,” Ryan told the commissioners.

Commission Vice Chair Michael O’Neal also supported the concept of an advisory committee to bring an “artistic eye” to local signs.

The LED sign approved by the majority of commissioners Tuesday night was more contentious than the street banners and light-pole signs discussion. Commissioner David Blake voted against the sign, citing concerns about light pollution, hazards posed to I-15 motorists who might be distracted by the bright flashing sign, and worries over local residents who will be within eyeshot of the sign.

“I have problems with visual pollution,” Blake said, noting that nearby residents have not been given any advance notice about the proposed project.

LED signs, Blake said, also seem outdated and relegated to rural, out-of-the-way communities.

“It’s a bit of a dinosaur,” Blake said of the LED sign.

O’Neal did not express support for the sign either, but conceded that the ability to promote local businesses, services and special community events could be advantageous for Lake Elsinore.

“I don’t like the sign at all,” O’Neal said, “but that doesn’t mean I won’t vote for it.”

According to a staff report, Caltrans dictates where proposed LED signs can be placed along freeways, and the East Franklin Street vicinity was one of the few areas available.

“It’s not a carte blanche up and down the freeway,” Lake Elsinore City Attorney Barbara Leibold said, directing her comments to Ryan who was concerned the LED sign could set a precedent for other companies to follow.

Commissioners acknowledged there is the possibility the sign might need to be moved in the future if Franklin Street ever becomes an interchange at the I-15, but Ken Seumalo, director of Public Works for the city, said Caltrans approved the proposed location.

The only services that would be banned from advertising on the LED billboard would be those that feature adult entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, political ads, or any ad deemed “detrimental to the city.”

President Dave Oster reminded the commissioners Tuesday that the city had approved a similar sign as part of a lease agreement between the City of Lake Elsinore and the Diamond Stadium Group. DSG leases the stadium property from the city and, according to a City of Lake Elsinore staff report, the lease stipulated that the parties involved work together to build an electronic sign along the I-15.

Oster told the commissioners it will take approximately five years before DSG sees a return on the more than $1 million sign, but he said the sign offers the opportunity to promote Storm Baseball and all the positive events and services in Lake Elsinore.

Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce president Kim Cousins agreed and threw his full support behind all the proposed signs.

“This is a way to capture a new audience,” Cousins argued.

In addition to signage proposals Tuesday night, Lake Elsinore City Councilman Peter Weber told Patch that has revamped its wall displays as part of the overall rebranding effort. Currently, City Hall is displaying works by Lake Elsinore photographer Mike Norkin. The display features attractions found only in Lake Elsinore.

“This is part of the plan to showcase and start getting the branding of our city more visible,” Weber stated Tuesday afternoon. “Before we had these pictures you would think you were in any office … now with our new photos of activities we have in our city, you know you are in Lake Elsinore.”

Diana September 05, 2012 at 04:31 PM
LER well said, there is nothing to attract anyone too other then our Lake, the stadium sits empty most of the time. What attraction, little TJ, Main St? Or our empty outlet Mall, just what we don't need is more traffic on our 1930's road that can't handle traffic for the people that live here. Has anyone on this panel not read reviews that people that have visited our town have to say, it isn't very nice and they won't be back. Nothing like an LED sign to show people that those in charge of LE have failed miserably in taking care of their town. What is wrong with these people?
Lake Elsinore Resident September 05, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Who is paying for the sign if any tax payer money is allocated to either program it needs to be pulled back and used to fix roads or clean up the city. Lets start with Main Street have you seen it as you come off the freeway? How about an initative like that of many cities in Orange County years ago that provided incentives and low interest lows tied to property tax for fixing up your home. Both outside and inside. It worked for them and can work for Lake Elsinore. If Storm is paying for the sign then fine let them have it maybe they will make better use of the stadium instead of it sitting empty. Oh yeah that right that would require a call back from them something they don't do.
Diana September 05, 2012 at 05:59 PM
What happen to the concerts and other events at the stadium. What happen to the car shows on Main St, the Street Fair??? What happen to the jet ski races on the Lake? It's going to take more then a stupid sign to get people to come to Lake Elsinore, we have such a bad reputation, every where we travel and people ask us where we're from and we tell them, no one has anything good to say about this town, and the sad part is everything that others say is true.
Jeff September 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM
It sounds like the sign is a good long term investment for the city. It will pay for itself after 5 years and then generate additional income for the city which can be used to fix roads without additional taxpayer money. It will also help to bring in additional business to the storm stadium, casino, skydiving and any other businesses that choose to advertise on it. Additional business coming into our local economy is a good thing. I agree our city needs a lot of clean up and fixes in areas, but this can help us make those thigns happen in the long run.
Bill Bull September 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Sell,Sell, Sell all this city ever does is try to sell itself. Why don't they get some management in it, to fix some of the problems?
Connie September 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I agree with most of the comments above. We need to clean up, fix up; streets, off ramps before we invest in a large neon sign like is in Canyon Lake. I think it is very distracting to drives trying to read the BIG sign. The Railroad/Diamond off/on ramps are usually covered with debri. I spent a Saturday with my church picking up trash. Why can't we have plants so it looks inviting.
Roberto September 05, 2012 at 09:43 PM
We need to know who these people running for council are: William Park has what appears to be a ficticious addresss and works for Trevi? Gary Carlos- States he's a coach at the school but know one has ever heard of him Steve Manos is either a realtor or a used car sales man. Peter Weber is appointed and votes with the corrupt now block majority. Rick Morsch appears to be a Tuscanite groupee Craig Turner ?
Roberto September 05, 2012 at 10:14 PM
More "TOURISM" baloney. How about something with substance like low density housing, high end homes, high end restaurants? No more pie in the sky dog and pony shows. Where's the beef?
Constant Comment September 05, 2012 at 10:19 PM
There is no beef! It's pork & they're still tryin to put lipstick on it! }~)
Diana September 05, 2012 at 10:19 PM
You forgot Natasha Johnson, who is she?
Roberto September 05, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I already know who she is...What's sad is no one who has pulled papers has been vetted or had their qualifications discussed. Why is it only corrupt-questionable block voting insiders like Webless and Malicious get air time on da patch?
MT September 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Lake Elsinore is smack dab in the middle of the 15 fwy. Out of towners and commuters are going to stop at our gas stations and fast food restaurants on their way to and fro San Diego or Corona/Riverside etc. I think cleaning up downtown main street is a great idea...more should be done than just the new lamp posts with banners. Hopefully the new LED sign will at least be attractive, and not a bright light sore to ones eye sight. It'll definitely catch people's attentions, especially the thousands of commuter traffic that pass through daily. People from neighboring towns already come to the Lake, or drive through the Ortegas. So let's clean up all of Lake Elsinore, and boost this lil economy and think positive :].
Diana September 05, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Well you might know who she is but how does everyone else find out before voting?
Diana September 05, 2012 at 10:49 PM
MT I love your positive attitude and hopefully those that get off the fwy don't get off at Main St. not a good impression, I hope they get off at Diamond, or Central the core area of LE is such a dump, unfortunatley that is where City Hall sits so anyone wanting to develope or open a new business has to drive through it to get to City Hall. Perhaps thats where they should start the cleaning up, start with taking the illegals off of Main at the entrance to downtown in the mornings, and then try to relocate all those poor homeless people that hang out at the park on Main too. It could be done if the authorities would take an interest in making it happen.
MT September 05, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Diana, totally agree! Main Street is so unapealing. They need to liven it up, make it look like Ontario or Upland's downtown. What ever happened with them installing a large pier extending into the lake, with shops, ferris wheel, etc? Kinda like a mini-Santa Monica Pier.
Diana September 06, 2012 at 12:47 AM
MT: as usual with our City Officials they do seem to "dream Extreme" without much action. The entire upgrade that they wanted to do with the pier, etc., would of costs millions. A waste of tax payers money paying someone to draw this all out, conduct a study only to realize that they could not afford it. The entire area of "old town", is a blighted area. Just behind City Hall is full of trashed out apartment buildings and run down homes not to mention that the streets behind the empty lot on Main is so torn up it is almost impossible to drive on. There is no excuse for this kind of neglect in this town. Before you can attract people as a resort town we have a lot of work and clean up to do. Our roads are a mess, lined with trash, empty lots and full of weeds. Is this the impression we want to give to people? It is just wrong in so many ways. I once loved LE for the quaint town it was, but now it is obvious that those in charge don't care and do they really think a sign will help? There is nothing to make people want to come to Main St. it is little Mexico. In 20 years I have heard rumor of 5 star hotels on the Lake with boat launches, restaurants coming in, the bass shop and on and on and yet nothing ever surfaces. Sad but true.
tweetledee September 06, 2012 at 03:39 AM
They dont seem to have people with visionary skills here, Lake Havasu is what we should be more like not some smelly fishing hole,Heck think outside the box,How about a island,sell weddings on it,Have upscale dining and disco on the Lake,Oh yeah but you know what if you have too good of a time they do have those checkpoints wainting to wreck your life..Second thought go to Havasu or Newport,Stay out of Elsinore..Its a Sh@t hole,Your not allowed to have a good time the police are wainting for you...
Ken Mayes September 06, 2012 at 04:02 AM
In 1972 the citizens of then Elsinore voted to add Lake to its name as a way to promote the city as a lake oriented destination. Ever since then the lake has not been at the top of the list when the city council talks about promoting the town. Even in this article the Diamond and the Motorsports Park take top billing. Every attempt by the city improve the area around the lake has been through selling it off to a private developer so they can turn it into another Mission Bay or Disneyland, much the way it was in the 1920's a playground for the rich and famous the locals be damned. The problem with that idea is the rich and famous are not going to play in a giant green pond, if it ain't crystal clear and smelling of chlorine they won't go in it, whereas the locals just want a place to have fun do a little fishing, swimming, boating, bbq, drink some beers, ride some bikes, jump out of airplanes. They city council needs to quit trying to make it something it never has been nor will ever be. The lake at Elsinore is already a jewel that needs no polishing it just needs to be accessible to everyone.
Diana September 06, 2012 at 04:24 AM
But wait wasn't this not the resort town for the rich and famous with it's hot springs and so on.............Ken you are always the one to squash the "dream extreme", really this isn't a resort town??
Ken Mayes September 06, 2012 at 06:26 AM
The hot springs in Elsinore, see any today, came and went just like the ones in Murrieta and for the most part Glen Ivy. Just like moving west to cure what ails one gave way to people looking for a place to settle. Rancho La Laguna was purchased by 2 people from the mid-west with the intent to divide it up into small farms and flip it for a profit. Once it was determined that the water was no good for farming or drinking, the economy tanked in 1888 and the railroad tracks kept getting washed away the town faded in obscurity until the roaring 20's when it became a resort town for the Hollywood types then the economy once again tanked and the lake dried up, back to obscurity. The 15 freeway get completed the town limps back from the brink and, you guessed it, the economy tanks. If the recreational aspects of the lake had been considered all along this area might not have become rich but would have cruised along at a fairly even pace as people will always want to have a good time as long as it doesn't cost a fortune. As to squashing the dream, talk to the city council. When you approve almost 3,000 homes priced currently around $250,000 next to an airport and a motocross track who do you think is still going to be here in 10 years. That is until the nature takes back what is hers.
Roberto September 06, 2012 at 07:41 AM
The tourist mecca concept is ridiculous. We need sound planning, low density, open space. We don't need to copy what others have done. We need to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix, not a carbon copy of areas we cannot nor want to be. Time to send all the dog and pony show developers down nthe road. How about fixing the pot holes and providing basic services instead?
Ken Mayes September 06, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Roberto Wake up and smell the coffee. With the federal governments “Partnership for Sustainable Communities” and California's 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act and the 2008 Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act your looking at a future that has 20-30 homes per acre. You don't like the idea of a tourist mecca then recommend that the city council fill in the only natural lake in Southern California and build homes on it. The problem with that idea is mother nature will have the last say.
Roberto September 06, 2012 at 04:35 PM
The general & master plans allows for density to be taken into account including apartments, commercial etc. etc. The City of Lake Elsinore many council persons end up in the back pocket of developers and land speculators who "want higher density" to make their projects pencil. In other words, higher impacts for us and more profit for them. Lake Elsinore never saw a project they did not like or should I say a Dais that couldn't be bought. We need development not based on whose the council but what is in the best interest of the community. We know what happens when realtors run the council. Just look at Albertsons near four corners with it's own traffic light instead of being built where another propert was listed across from Stater's. These low lifes are gone and we are stuck with their messes to many apartments, low income housing etc. etc.
Diana September 06, 2012 at 05:26 PM
How about instead of building anything more in this town we just improve what is already here. How about putting a retainer wall down Lakeshore drive that will hold back all the dirt from sliding down the hill onto the road when it rains. It would look nicer and get rid of the weeds. How about making all these slum lords clean up there properties and make them look presentable instead of slums? How about making the owners of the 100's of empty lots do something with their lots, if it sits vacant and unattended to long then they are fined. I see they just mowed down the building that tulips and trophy's was in on Graham, nice another empty, weed filled lot we'll get to look at, why is that they just destroy buildings, they did that with the house that was next to the car wash on Riverside Dr., one day someone lived in the house, next the house was gone? Another empty lot, LE is beginning to look like a ghost town. And gee we're getting another dollar store on Riverside Dr, let's see that makes three in our town.
Marc September 07, 2012 at 02:00 AM
have been here 42 years, I'm not liking what I see... Little TJ Big time Very low income area and it shows. Wildomar, OMG. What code enforcement, anything goes these people from code enforcement are a joke..It's a terrible thing that has happened to this area . County of Riverside , local Gov, private investors gave this area up for dead. Low income area what do you expect, and it will not change, sorry folks!
Ken Mayes September 07, 2012 at 03:53 AM
The city of Lake Elsinore is not going to own this sign. A company called DSG will own it and profit from it.
Constant Comment September 07, 2012 at 04:02 AM
@Marc, didn't you get the memo? You are not suppose to tell the truth on here! }~0
Roberto September 07, 2012 at 05:14 AM
http://9to5mac.com/2012/09/06/vehicle-crashes-into-apples-promenade-temecula-retail-store-gallery/ There was a smash and grab at the apple store in Trafficula this morning at 5:00 a.m.. We need to protect the video store on Main street because we could be next here in Lake Elsinore!
Anthony September 08, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Something needs to be done about this town! We need to start somewhere! Just don't put the cart before the horse!
Ellie Insyder September 26, 2012 at 07:38 AM


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