Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Clairemont Sign on Balboa Destroyed, What Next?

Photo by R. Petrozello

Just one year ago, the Clairemont Community News published a story about a concerned Clairemont resident, Joel Pointon, who cleaned up the then-dirty and damaged Clairemont monument sign on Balboa at the 805.

Last week, Mr. Pointon contacted the CC News because he was dismayed to see that the sign he worked so hard to take care of had been destroyed, with only a pile of twisted metal remaining. It had apparently been hit by a car.

Of course, he wasn't the only one who noticed. The Clairemont Town Council was notified via e-mail and the search was on to find out who to contact to get it replaced.

You might think it would be as simple as letting someone at the street maintenance department know, but alas, when first contacted it looked like this city wasn't responsible. Per the Municipal Code, the maintenance, repair or replacement of community entry signs is the responsibility of the town council or community planning group.

There were hopes that perhaps being so close to the freeway it would be in the CalTrans right of way, but that was a dead end.

Click for full size 
There is a happy ending to this story; it turned out the sign had been designed and constructed as part of a capital improvement project by the city to improve the median along Balboa, so the city will be responsible for replacing it.  

Getting from the smashed sign to a new one will take some time, though. One obstacle is that the design drawings and plans for the original sign were lost when the contractor's computer crashed. Although the design isn't changing, new design drawings are required. Once those drawings are complete, a cost estimate can be prepared for the construction of the new sign. 

The city expects to recover the cost from the driver's insurance company. In the meantime, in order to speed up the process, Councilmember Cate's office is working with city staff to identify other possible funding sources that could be used until the driver's payment is received (see statement from District 6 office, click for full size).

For now, the debris has been cleared and visitors to Clairemont entering from the east on Balboa will have no sign to let them know they are entering Clairemont.  

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