‘I think it’s garish’ | TheUnion.com

‘I think it’s garish’

Just a few weeks after business leaders from Nevada City beautified Calanan Park, a large, gaudy sign announcing the liquidation of Broad Street Furn- ishings incongruously showed up leaning against a tree within the park on Sunday, much to the dismay of some locals.

The sign was removed after residents complained. On Monday, abandoned, bright pink signs announcing the furniture liquidation still could be seen in downtown Nevada City and in Glen- brook Basin.

“I think it’s garish,” said Nevada City resident Julie Cobden. “I don’t like the atmosphere it creates in town.”

She also raised concerns about out-of-town liquidation companies helping local businesses sell their merchandise.

“They are bringing a business practice that clashes with the local business atmosphere,” Cobden said.

Deere Park Associates, an Illinois-based furnishing consultant, is handling the liquidation of Broad Street Furn- ishings.

“One of the most important reasons to engage Deere Park Associates is our proven plans to leave you with a ‘broom clean’ building after conducting a profitable event,” according to the firm, which has handled many liquidations throughout the country.

A spokesman for Deere Park declined to comment on the liquidation process, as did Lionel Holman, owner of Broad Street Furnishings.

Similar complaints about signs were voiced when Dovetail Design, a downtown Grass Valley furniture store, announced its liquidation sale.

People were spotted holding signs at major intersections, and cars and trucks bearing similar notices in bold, bright fonts plied the roads of downtown Grass Valley.

“Generally there is no off-site signage allowed for businesses,” said Howard Levine, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association. “We see (people holding signs) mainly on weekends when police staff or volunteers aren’t around to enforce (the ordinance).”

Commercial “signs held or supported by human beings” are prohibited within the City of Grass Valley, according to a development code adopted by the Grass Valley City Council in April 2007.

“Signs attached to or suspended from a … vehicle or other moveable objects parked within a public right-of-way, or in a location of private property that is visible from a public right-of-way” are also not allowed, the ordinance said.

“It’s a little tacky,” said George Dyer, a Nevada City resident. “If they are trying to get rid of their stuff, it’s OK for a day or two. But for instance Dovetail Design, these people have been driving around with signs on trucks and cars. It’s ridiculous.”

Nevada City – normally known for its strict signage rules – has no ordinance against commercial signs held by people or mounted on vehicles, said Cindy Siegfried, city planner with Nevada City.

“Signage is only allowed on a building or its premises where the business is located,” Siegfried said. “Off-site signage are not allowed.”

“You don’t put business ads on public property,” said Jim McConnaughey, chairman of the Nevada City Downtown Assoc-iation.

Holman said the sale will stop “when everything is sold.”

“I bought (this business) two and a half years ago, right when the economy started turning sour,” Holman said. “It’s hurt me. I’ve lost so much money.

“We are trying to sell all our merchandise as quickly as we can. We have a lot to sell. We have two warehouses full of furniture.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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