The City of Big Bear Lake may soon offer a small business sign replacement program, which was outlined in draft form by Redevelopment Director Lyle Haynes at the City Council meeting of June 22. The sign replacement program, which would potentially offer business owners a 50% matching grant or a deferred reimbursement loan, would allow for better signage in Big Bear Lake and, presumably, more customers due to the increased visibility. As Haynes explained during the Improvement Agency portion of the Council meeting, “We want to offer an incentive to snazz up, if you will, our business environment. We want to build on what we have, but offer an incentive to bring other [signs] up to date and make them more pleasing.” Though the sign reimbursement program is not yet a done deal, Haynes will incorporate input received on Monday and bring it before Council in the near future, as there are also plans in the works to make changes to the City of Big Bear Lake’s sign code. These changes, said to be discreet and careful amendments, will be presented to Council by the City’s Director of Planning Jim Miller, perhaps this summer. As City Manager Jeff Mathieu explained, “Once we provide the money, then we provide the enhanced regulation.” The City’s hope is that if funds are provided to ease the transition for business owners, it will contribute to less blight and clutter along the Boulevard and in commercial business districts.
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