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Tehachapi community pushes to save historical 'Douglas Oil' sign

Posted at 9:09 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 00:09:59-04

TEHACHAPI,Calif. — A historical sign in Kern County is gaining attention after citizens heard that it would soon be demolished after it stood empty for decades.

Randy Weinstein, a local designer, and concerned citizen says that he was made aware that the Tehachapi Douglas Oil sign aka the 'love sign' was scheduled for demolition, and wants to save it.

"Once that sign is gone it's gone," Weinstein said. "So now is the time to make sure those pieces are preserved and I think the community wants that."

Soon the sign will become like the rest of the lot which Weinstein says has been vacant for several decades.

"There is a fine line between development and keeping parts of the past and you can do both of those things," Weinstein said.

According to the City of Tehachapi, the business owner of the property applied for a demolition permit which required that they rid of all structures that were not in compliant with the Tehachapi zoning code.

"We still intend for that sign to be taken down, it's not code compliant and has been vacant for several years," said Trevor Hawkes, senior planner of the city of Tehachapi. "We have spoken to the business owner about saving the actual structure of the Douglas Oil sign and he seemed opened to do that."

Hawkes says that the city understands that this sign holds historical value to the community because at one point it was the first sign that many saw when driving in.

Hawkes adds that he thinks that if the community had gotten involved earlier they could have discussed rehabilitating the sign ahead of time.

"If maintaining historical things in Tehachapi is important to the public then they should get involved with the Tehachapi Heritage League and get out ahead of things and try to save them before these issues come up," Hawkes said.

Hawkes suggests that it could be donated to the Tehachapi Heritage League Museum or moved to a new location.

The actual pole is the biggest issue because of its height and the date it will be demolished is unknown.

"There is a win-win for everybody in here, where we can keep the sign, the city is happy, the owner is happy and that’s the goal,"Weinstein said.