Carlsbad council approves controversial archway sign - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Carlsbad council approves controversial archway sign

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CARLSBAD (CBS 8) - Despite controversy an archway sign will stretch across Carlsbad Boulevard (Highway 101) at Carlsbad Village Drive.

On Tuesday, Carlsbad city council members approved the donated sign that will be 17-feet long with neon and LED lights.

"This is to let people know you're in the heart of the city," said a supporter.

Many communities in San Diego County have archway signs welcoming people to the neighborhood. Supporters say it adds character and helps identify the community and it would be modeled after their neighboring city in Encinitas.

"As you are cruising Coast Highway you know you hit Carlsbad," said Carlsbad realtor Sandy Lund.

TaylorMade Golf donated $225,000 for the sign, supplies, design and installation. The city would only have to pay to maintain the sign but there have been critics for years.

"I think it would be a distraction and disservice to those who live and work and want to play in the city of Carlsbad," said Carlsbad resident Judith Marx.

Concerned residents spoke at Tuesday's city council meeting voicing their opposition saying the former design with the iconic dolphin created by world famous marine artist Wyland was too cartoony and silly.

"A little tacky and not a tasteful the design. It is retro and not unique and not a world class quality," said Tina Schmidt.

She is on the Carlsbad Art Council who recommended the city deny the donation and the sign.

"I think the idea of the sign being there is visually not a good one," said Marx.

After public meetings and revisions a new design that excludes the dolphin and described to reflect the original sign erected in Carlsbad in 1938 was approved.

The crusader behind the sign, Carlton Lund, has been working to welcome Carlsbad with an archway sign for 13 years, "We've got it. We've got a sign that I believe everyone will be very happy."

Formal paperwork needs to be done but leaders hope to have the archway sign lighting up Carlsbad by December.

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