Our View: Give us a sign, but not purple and magenta?
October 25, 2005
Signs – whether they are telling you to feed the meter, drive in circles, or grab a Chalupa – have become a hot topic in Truckee.After all, it was a disagreement over signs at the Taco Bell restaurant planned for the lot between Alpine Country Inn and the Chevron gas station that halted the project for a year.Almost exactly one year ago Taco Bell got the go-ahead from the planning commission to build a drive-thru eatery. But there was a catch – the sign plan had to be revised and brought back for approval to Truckee’s planning body.At that point the planning staff agreed that the internally illuminated signs did not conform to the town’s guidelines. But after the restaurant brought forward wooden, externally illuminated signs, town staff was OK with the proposal. The commission, however, had another problem with the signs.The trademark Taco Bell colors were not appropriate for Truckee, the commission said. Instead of purple and magenta, the commission called for earth tone hues.That’s after Taco Bell agreed to the externally lit signs and didn’t haggle for a four-story pole sign that can be seen from Interstate 80.Luckily, reason prevailed when the matter was appealed to the council. The town body realized that Taco Bells will be Taco Bells, and freeway-dependent businesses need to advertise themselves.All the wrangling over the Taco Bell signs has left us thinking this: Perhaps the town should have evaluated its own practices – like plastering historic downtown Truckee with non-earth-tone-colored paid parking signs – before imposing those standards on a business next to a busy interstate.