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Santa Maria Planning Commission Picks Welcome Sign Design

Panel's recommendation for Highway 101 sign will be forwarded to the Santa Maria City Council for final approval

Santa Maria wants a welcome sign along Highway 101 and the Planning Commission is recommending this design, featuring the iconic tower of City Hall.
Santa Maria wants a welcome sign along Highway 101 and the Planning Commission is recommending this design, featuring the iconic tower of City Hall.  (City of Santa Maria photo)

Santa Maria planning commissioners weighed in on the design for a proposed new welcome sign to greet southbound travelers on Highway 101. 

On Wednesday night, the Planning Commission unanimously picked members’ preferred option for the new sign which will sit on the Caltrans right of way west of Highway 101 near the North Broadway offramp. 

The joint project at the northern entrance involves the city’s Community Development and Public Works departments, city planner Neda Zayer said.

“Much like other communities on the Central Coast that have welcome signs on the freeway, the city of Santa Maria would like to join the ranks in doing one for our city,” Zayer said.

The project is expected to cost $200,000, with work to start this summer, city officials said. 

Three designs by the consultant were presented, with the favorite choice including the signature tower element of City Hall.

“It’s an iconic feature here in the city and it’s been incorporated in this design to make a nod to that feature,” Zayer said.

The design also includes 1905, the year Santa Maria incorporated to become a city.

The second design also uses the tower feature plus the red roof tiles, while the third option uses classic mission-style architectural elements. 

Each says “Welcome to Santa Maria,” and soil will be added so the sign is elevated to provide better visibility, staff said.

Commissioner Tim Seifert expressed concerns the sign would be moved due to the interchange project, but staff said that likely wouldn’t occur for a couple of decades.

The commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for final approval.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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