* By Mike Harris * Ventura County Star * Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:22 p.m., updated June 7, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
Earlier this year, Simi Valley City Councilwoman Barbra Williamson reluctantly voted to liberalize the city's temporary business sign ordinance, saying she feared the city could wind up looking like the sign-cluttered San Fernando Valley.
At Monday night's City Council meeting, Williamson said her fears have been realized after just a few months.
"If you take a look around our community, it's a disaster," she said. "It's out of hand."
Williamson and her fellow council members conceded that the loosened temporary sign ordinance has led to an unintended proliferation of non-code-compliant signs throughout the city.
"We tried to help and then they took it too far," said Councilman Glen Becerra.
The council directed city staff to prepare a report for the council's July 25 meeting, laying out options to, as Williamson put it, "reel it back in." The council wants to strike a balance between trying to help businesses in a tough economy and preserving the city's quality of life.