“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…” [Village News, 4/3/14]

There is a vicious element of the Fallbrook community not seen or heard before. Terrible remarks are typed on a keyboard in private, signed with a false name spouting untruths and speaking derisively about the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) that serves their community.

These slanderous remarks regard not only the FCPG members, but the Design Review Committee particularly. As a member of the FCPG for six years, on the Design Review Committee as long, I can say with authority that the Design Review Committee does not discuss signage that may be out of compliance with County regulations.

I also state firmly that Eileen Delaney, the victim of a lot of those remarks, is a very knowledgeable chairman of the committee, helps the committee offer as much leeway as possible in helping applicants meet County regulations. She serves admirably as an advocate for Fallbrook and other unincorporated communities on a special County committee.

These naysayers need to learn the time and effort it takes to serve. Annual compliance testing and personal accountability, understanding County rules, meetings with applicants, advocating for residents and small business owners to make the Fallbrook Community Plan a policy that fits our community yet adheres to County policy, evaluating huge developer projects that could affect the demise of our small town businesses, and working to present a compromise to protect the downtown, is only part of the work that they do for the community.

Where are you for meetings? Or, do you just malign and complain?

Jackie Heyneman

46 Responses to "“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…” [Village News, 4/3/14]"

  1. Ray (the real one)   May 8, 2014 at 9:36 am

    She deserves it.

  2. Ray (the real one)   May 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm


    Last time I attended a meeting, I almost got mauled by a certain flea infessted mutt, no names. If I wanted the abuse of being treated like a child, I would go to a school.

    She deserves all the bad press she creates and she’s elected. If she can’t take the critique, retire.

    Nice to know she has neighbor support.

  3. Small business owner   May 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Do you think any one in their right mind is going to post their name on here given the vindictive character of the individual in question? I sure in the devil wouldn’t

  4. from Main   May 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Mrs. Heyneman:
    I run a small business. When do I have the time to also simultaneously spend fending off you people who are trying to put me out of business?

  5. Fallbrook Resident   May 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The FCPG is composed of a bunch of superfluous bureaucrats. If they’d dissolve tomorrow THAT would be a major first step forward for this community.

  6. Ray (the real one)   May 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Small Business Owner:

    I do. I post my real name but everyone including the accused know me.

  7. DP   May 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm


    While I respect your opinion and the enormous contributions you’ve made to this community, I do not share your high estimation of Eileen. I strongly feel that she is an extremely divisive and polarizing influence in this town. I hope she does not run for re election. Or if she does, that she is defeated.

  8. Alan   May 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    "These slanderous remarks regard not only the FCPG members, but the Design Review Committee particularly. As a member of the FCPG for six years, on the Design Review Committee as long, I can say with authority that the Design Review Committee does not discuss signage that may be out of compliance with County regulations."

    If that were true then why is it that she recites this ordinance when she approaches people about their nonconforming signs? Why does she make a point of confronting businesses about this issue? Maybe she should go back to doing whatever you people are supposed to do and LEAVE US ALONE!!!!

  9. oldster   May 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    This brings up an interesting point. Why is it that the chairperson of this group gets to bring his pet to all the meetings (last time I attended anyway)? The dog certainly isn’t a service animal. A cute tea cup terrier or whatever he is but really not appropriate for a public meeting. When we go we leave our dogs at home. Next time we have any business scheduled before them do we get to break the rules too and bring our two Labs?

  10. Mr. Anonymous   May 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    To Ray: Do you have a business in Fallbrook? I bet not. We have one very well politically connected individual on planning who has the power to pick up the phone and bring in the County down on us. She’s done this before and no one including myself is going to risk their livelyhood to try to stop her. Thats just the way the world is. Call me a realist or a coward, your choice but I have a family to support.

  11. Redneck Bill   May 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Ms. Heyneman,

    I haven’t a clue about how your group operates, nor the laws governing it.

    But here is what I’ve seen. I walk by the new Happy Jug liquor store almost daily. I watched as they remodeled the old Abagail’s flower shop, and changed the old Abagail’s flower sign, a sign that had been there as long as I can remember, to Happy Jug Liquor. All that was really changed was the name itself. The frame remained the exact same size and shape, although the frame had the rust removed and was repainted. In other words, it looked better than the previous sign frame. There were no flashing lights or anything offensive or out of the ordinary about the sign.

    I notice when I walk by the Happy Jug now that the sign has been removed, and I have read here on the Village News website that your group required the store to remove the sign.

    Can you tell me whether that is the case? Did your group tell the store to remove the sign?

    Without all the facts I hesitate to jump to conclusions, and yet someone told a business owner to remove an existing sign.

    If your group found that sign offensive in some way, you certainly don’t represent my views on the Fallbrook Community Planning Group. If your group somehow blames the county for the signs removal, I would be very interested in learning more about a regulation that says you can force someone to remove a sign that has obviously previously been approved.

    I will apologize if I’m wrong, but just looking at this with the information I have, your group comes across to me as an overzealous HOA. The one and only time I was part of an HOA, I learned that it was composed of people with too much time on their hands who had never held authoritative positions. And did they ever make up for that. Things that didn’t matter to reasonable people were the lifeblood of this group.

    I confess to not having a deep understanding of the law in this area. But I do know that you and your group have legal immunity. However, should you make the same decision you did regarding the Happy Jug on a business with the resources to pursue the matter in court, I have to think they would prevail. In other words, you can "afford" to make unreasonable decisions.

    It’s a shame that Happy Jug had to relocate from a busy corner, to their current location, and then be unable to even put up a sign to help let people know they are there. They clearly are not the business to pursue this legally.

  12. Mom & Pop Business Owner   May 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    The irony is that Eileen and her husband have a home based business. They don’t have to rent out commercial space and hope that enough people will walk in off the street. We small merchants are absolutely dependent on signage in order to keep our businesses afloat. We really feel as if design review could care less about us.

  13. Ray (the real one)   May 9, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Mr. Anonymous:

    I had a consulting business in Fallbrook for over a decade but did not require signage. I do have many friends who own businesses one being a sign business and I know all to well the roadblocks businesses go through just to let people know where they are due to the FCPG the design committee and the accused.

    Businesses in Fallbrook are leaving in droves for two reasons, the economy and the FCPG. This opens the doors for big box stores like Walmart which will move in as soon as these local businesses depart, a reverse theory of blocking the big box stores, maybe that is the real plan.

    Although if I had a brick and mortar business, I would tell the accused and the rest of the FCPg to pound sand. Maybe if more people did, their power would be diminished.

  14. Ray (the real one)   May 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Mom and Pop Business Owner:

    Use Google maps, see how these FCPG "fat cats" live. Technology, what a concept.

  15. cub scout mom   May 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

    @14. I think you have a good point. The types of people that have the available time to sit on the Planning Board generally are not working people. They do this as some sort of hobby.

  16. Village Business Owner   May 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I said it once and I’ll say it again. The DRC/FCPG seems to think that by helping to bankrupt local small businesses this will in some way turn this place into a new Rancho Santa Fe. I have news for them. They’re wrong. A bunch of empty store fronts is not going to make Fallbrook more upscale. It’ll do just the opposite.

  17. Jeff   May 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    @RBill. They not only have immunity but they also have the force of law and government behind them. They are elected. Yes they’re a pretty sorry bunch but the ultimate fault lies with we the voters who have elected and in many cases reelected them.

  18. LIZ   May 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    A friend just called me up about this letter. They own a business in town and are hoping mad about how they and others have been treated by the planning members especially that one lady with the page boy haircut and glasses who runs the show down there. It really is something when legal tax paying businesses are treated this way. Who does this woman think she is?

  19. Pink   May 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t believe that everyone on the FCPG does a bad job. I think most of you have issues of the DRC, which is but one committee. Most of the members of the planning group work long hours reviewing all the materials that come before it, and keep an open mind when voting. Remember there is no monetary reimbursement for the elected members of the group. They have, on the whole, done a pretty good job of keeping growth down, especially major housing tracts along the I-15 corridor. I do agree that the DRC totally over steps its bounds when it comes to the "sign police". Fallbrook isn’t Rancho Santa Fe, and it never will be. Thank goodness. I know a few members of the group personally, and believe me not all of them live in a mansion on a hill. Ray seems to have issues with anyone who has prospered well in life. That is a personal issue of his.

  20. Amy   May 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    The writers that are responding negatively to the letter by Ms. Heyneman are absolutely absurd in their position. They simply refuse to listen to logic.

    The county, like any city, have regulations in place regarding signage. If one obtains the proper permit from the county for their sign and the sign is built to the permitted specifications there is no issue. It is mind boggling that so many folks think regulations are for everyone but them! As a conscious business owner it should be your obligation to comply with the regulations, just as all the other business owners do. Why should you be the exception?

    County code enforcement is the only agency that has the power to cite a business owner if they are out County compliance.

    I realize this is probably just an exercise in futility . Many writers respond weekly and weakly on any and all subjects, always in a negative manner. Many of you would rather resort to personal attacks than educate yourselves on the subject matter.
    "There are none so blind, as those who will not see."

  21. Not happy   May 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    The problem is there are over 45,000 people in Fallbrook and the area that the Fallbrook Planning Group covers is so large that unless you’ve had specific business before them or are trying to run a business in downtown, the average voter would have no idea who they are or what they do. 99.99% of voters will never have to deal with Eileen Delaney or her cadre of busy bodies so she’ll just keep getting elected.

  22. italiano   May 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

    This problem has just been getting worse for years now. Glad people are at least talking about it.

  23. Former Fallbrook   May 10, 2014 at 7:14 am

    It’s not as if this bunch on there are just disinterested. They’re actively hostile to our businesses. It’s really unfathomable. Glad I closed up a few years ago and moved to Temecula.

  24. Hmm   May 10, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Just asking..why is there a huge sign announcing "accounting" on the same block where Happy Jug is? In New York ya can purchase air space..maybe not a bad idea..seriously tho..how can small businesses grow without signage..I say get you signs up..hire a good lawyer and proceed against this group.yes we voted the planning group..but I don’t recall seeing this other group on the ballot…

  25. Opinionated   May 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Does anyone else notice that the writer of this letter doesn’t specifically address any of the concerns being raised. She seems to be upset with the mere fact that people are bringing this issue up. Lady, this is the US. We do have rights to criticize our elected politicians.

  26. yeh, sure!   May 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    What Amy conveniently doesn’t mention is that they have "discretionary review". If it were just black and white compliance with county rules as to who gets to put up signs and other projects, there would be no reason for that committees existence.

  27. Tony H   May 10, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    It’s obvious that the prudes running the show on the FPG want to run Happy Jug out of business (and anyone else who gets in the way of their vision for what Fallbrook should look like). I hope that answers all the questions about that!!!

  28. Fallbrooker   May 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    @Pink. You feel that the Planning Group has "on the whole, done a pretty good job of keeping growth down, especially major housing tracts along the I-15 corridor"??? HUH?????

    You are aware aren’t you, that there are now plans in the works to build what amounts to several small towns along the 15? All done with a big wink and a nod from our valiant Fallbrook Community Planning Group.

    They all deserve the boot!

  29. Fallbrooker   May 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    When I say all, I mean ALL including Delaney and the woman who wrote this content free letter to the editor!

  30. Life in Morro Hills   May 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    My only concern is if Delaney doesn’t get reelected to her current position, does that mean she will reinvolve herself out here in Morro Hills again? She and her speed humps just about bankrupted our local road district. Just glad she’s now involving herself elsewhere.

  31. Let's be honest   May 11, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Attention Amy! Attention Amy! Did you not read the comment from Alan above? We also received a visit from the head of the sign Gestapo. She "suggested" our signs were out of compliance. We caved.

  32. etc.   May 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I’m with everybody else. Delvaney needs to go!

  33. Pink   May 11, 2014 at 8:18 am

    @Fallbrooker: Do your homework and you will see that over the past 30 or so years several "master planned communities" were proposed by developers along the I-15 corridor, and all were rejected by the FCPG, but like everything else, all good things must come to an end. Developers finally found a way around that roadblock and were able to get their plans through the county by greasing county palms. The FCPG was at least able to get a few changes made on these projects so the impact wouldn’t be quite as bad. It is called progress and it finally caught up with us.

    The DRC is a committee within the FCPG. They do oversee signage among other things. The chairwoman of that group is buddy buddy with our local county supervisor, Mr. Horn. He will do whatever she recommends. As for Happy Jug, I like their new location and when I need to purchase an adult beverage I go there. I don’t for the life of me, understand why they put up their sign, that is rediculous. The FCPG had no choice but to allow the owner of the corner where Happy Jug used to be, to do whatever they wanted with their own property, they had to comply with the law. I don’t like everything the FCPG does, but come on, lets be fair.

  34. Pink   May 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I meant I don’t, for the life of me, see why they can’t put up their sign. They should be able to. I don’t know of any county ordinance against it!!

  35. full time mom   May 11, 2014 at 8:48 am

    If this Eileen Delaney woman is elected isn’t there some mechanism for recall? When would she normally be up for election again? Thanks

  36. Amy   May 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm


  37. Double Macciatto   May 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    What happened to my comment? Am I able to say that I too disfavor a certain member of the planning group? Everyone else has mentioned her name. No idea what I wrote that’s any different.

    VILLAGE NEWS NOTE: It’s all in the way it’s said….. DR

  38. chop sticks   May 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    We too own a small business in downtown Fallbrook. I wish we could vote against her but we live in Bonsall. Which is unfair since her decisions are awful and negatively impact our business. We have no real voice.

  39. Santa's early this year   May 11, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Dear Life in Morro Hills,

    No she’s all yours. Consider it an early Xmas present from the downtown business community. But please remember there will be no exchanges or regifting! You must keep her! lol!!

  40. save our rural lifestyle   May 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Pink in #33 says the truth that Delaney is buddy buddy with Supervisor Horn. That’s a big problem as Horn is totally pro development and in their back pocket. Horn has never taken the side of our communities and always sides with developers not matter how outrageous the proposal. Perhaps this explains why the Fallbrook Community Planning Group rubber stamps whatever proposal comes before them.

    I think design review of commercial signs are the least of Fallbrook’s real worries. I don’t want to live in Orange County south!

  41. Let's be honest   May 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    We caved because we are a small business, have no $$ to give to grease paws in the form of campaign donations or to hire attorneys. We also don’t have the time to devote to playing "politics" with the lady and her cronies. We’re not on her list of "favorites". There is a double standard in this town based on who you know.

  42. Hmm   May 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Mrs Heyneman…applause to you defending your stance.however if allegations of ms.delaney being chummy with Bill Horn..well could that explain why BILL HORN sign dot the area between 76 and reche road..went that way this morning and no less than 4 signs of his are along the road..I suggest they be removed immediately…

  43. Buzz   May 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    As long as certain business owners get treated differently from others, people are totally justified in their displeasure with the DRC and the person who runs it. A few select businesses get to put up signs of a certain size while others are denied permission to put up identically sized signs similarly situated. Dismissing these real concerns as "armchair quarterback posting" is wrong.

  44. Ray (the real one)   May 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Can anyone tell me if this election cycle, these people are on the ballot?

  45. Joan   May 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    @44. Yes half of the members are up for re-coronation……I mean re-election every 2 years.

  46. Neighbor   May 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I have been in Fallbrook on an extended house-sit situation now for several months.

    The first day I rolled into Fallbrook, my friend and I LOL when we saw the Happy Jug Liquor Store sign greeting us. We both said, oh yes, this place is going to be interesting. And we’re def going to have to visit the Happy Jug — if only because of that sign and the name.

    That moment to me, defined the funky charm of Fallbrook. Old school style, small town, eclectic, fun, attitude… all the things that were disappearing elsewhere — getting sucked up by the beige tsunami of development.

    The Stepford mindset of gentrification of classic areas all over SoCal is sad. I’ve seen it happen in places that seemed resistant to change such as San Pedro, the Los Angeles port city I lived in for 16 years.

    The same things began to happen there — developers came in and started flipping the downtown area, raising rents and driving out mom and pop businesses that had been there for decades. The new shops that came in didn’t do as well and turnover has been crazy. A few places have survived but even some of the oldest and most renowned businesses have gone under in the last couple of years like Papadakis, a legendary Greek restaurant and Williams Bookstore, which had been in business for over 100 years.

    San Pedro has long been one of Hollywood’s favorite back lot locations for shooting and the downtown area had long maintained most of its original architecture — but as the new developers came in, those classic old facades were being lost. Good thing Hollywood can rely on CGI now since so much wonderful and classic architecture is getting razed in favor of squeezing every imaginary dollar out of some new fugly building that winds up sitting empty.

    About the only thing that has managed to be salvaged and preserved in downtown San Pedro is the Warner Grand Theatre — a classic movie house but only because of its historical status. The rest of downtown San Pedro is on the chopping block and brick by brick, it will change and not for the better.

    Ports-of-Call — the funky area of shops and restaurants next to the harbor is still funky and it could use a bit of a makeover and probably will see some kind of new development — and it may survive an extreme makeover because of its location next to the harbor. But how many more beige buildings with red tiled roofs mimicking faux Mediterranean or Spanish style architecture does SoCal need?

    Two events have maintained a bit of the San Pedro "small town" vibe — and those are the weekly Farmer’s Market and the monthly Art Walk. Both of these draw locals as well as visitors into the downtown area and remind people that San Pedro has more to offer than just whale watching excursions, cruise line departures and arrivals and transportation to and from Catalina Island.

    Like San Pedro, Fallbrook is a drive to destination, not a drive through city like most of Los Angeles or the coastal areas of San Diego and the city of San Diego. If Fallbrook doesn’t distinguish itself from the encroaching dull development of sameness, why would anyone want to drive all the way here to drop their dollars if its appearance and architecture is no different than every other boring looking town surrounding it?

    Fallbrook needs its funky charm, its funny signage, its eclectic mix of businesses, the small town mom and pop shop vibe or it will turn into a mini Stepford Temecula — one of the beige’ist places on earth. Really, my first trip there was a holy sh*t moment when I looked around and saw that Temecula was more beige than Orange County. And it wasn’t just the lack of color in the population. Everywhere I looked, it was the same to the point of being creepy. It really felt like I’d wandered onto the set of The Stepford Wives.

    As far as signage goes in Fallbrook, I’d suggest that whatever the county rules are for signage should be reviewed and studied in depth by business owners in Fallbrook so you can stay in compliance but also find the loop-holes and workarounds and then run amok creatively (without encroaching on your neighbors space, of course). If some local bored board member has issues, remind them that you are the peeps who bring in people who drop dollars (and sales tax) which enable you to pay the taxes that keeps the lifeblood flowing through this little town that these bored board members want to micromanage to death.

    Be Mayberry with attitude.

    And look for ways to capitalize on Fallbrook’s small town funky and eclectic vibe — like a monthly Art Walk event where a couple of blocks of Main street are blocked off so people can meander around and sample the local fare, peruse shops and some booths featuring hand made art and crafts by local artists and artisans as well as other stuff by local businesses from other areas of Fallbrook.

    Fallbrook may lay claim to its avocado prowess but this little town needs to pump up the funk, empower the eclectic and celebrate all the weird and wonderful it has to offer.

    Stay fun and funky, Fallbrook, or die a slow and painful Stepford death.


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