IRVINE — The city has decided to let the Pacific Symphony orchestra and OC Music and Dance construct an electronic promotion sign outside their offices, taking into account their contribution to Irvine.
The Planning Commission on April 6 unanimously approved the request for a 9-foot high, 14-foot wide monument sign facing MacArthur Boulevard. Pacific Symphony and OC Music and Dance share the same office building at 17620 Fitch Ave.
The issue was whether to allow advertisement for off-site events, such as Pacific Symphony’s concerts at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, on the sign’s LED display. The city bans copy related to off-site businesses to prevent the signs from becoming billboards.
The Planning Commission in February discussed whether the developer Irvine Co. violated the rules by promoting car sales event, Cavalia’s Odysseo show and UC Irvine basketball on its Spectrum freeway signs. Then in March, the commission heard the Irvine Auto Center’s request to air advertising unrelated to the center’s dealers on its freeway sign.
The city is working with the Irvine Co. and Irvine Auto Center to figure out a solution.
Planning commissioners Anthony Kuo and Greg Smith said Pacific Symphony and OC Music and Dance are different from the other two cases.
Pacific Symphony is the resident orchestra of the Segerstrom concert hall and also performs throughout Orange County, including the Irvine Barclay Theatre. OC Music and Dance is a nonprofit music school offering arts training for children regardless of their ability to play.
“This is not ‘Drink Coke,’ not ‘Buy a car’ or ‘Go to a for-profit horse show,’” Kuo said. “This is a nonprofit based in Irvine with Irvine youth, adults, seniors participating in community benefiting exercise.”
However, other commissioners were worried allowing such signs would set a bad precedent and encourage other nonprofit groups and businesses to make similar requests. City staff also recommended…