|By John Kirsch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
TexasMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 16, 2008 - TROPHY CLUB -- The battle over an attention-grabbing sign on the east side of the Value Place extended-stay hotel has landed in court.
Some residents and town officials, including Councilman Jim Moss, believe the light-emitting diode display is gaudy and gives a bad impression of Trophy Club, an affluent town of about 7,000.
"That awful flashing sign is not the kind of thing we want in any of the towns around here," Moss said.
The yellow-on-black sign, attached to the east side of the building on Texas 114, constantly changes displays between "Check in Today!!!" and "$209 Weekly."
A green-on-black LED sign on the south side of the hotel displays the same messages. The Town Council approved that sign in October 2006, although Moss and other residents don't like it, either.
But the debate now is over the sign on the east side. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted Jan. 3 to recommend that the council approve the east-side sign.
On Jan. 21, the council voted unanimously against the panel's recommendation and demanded that the hotel remove the sign.
On Tuesday, Quanah Properties, which owns the hotel, filed a lawsuit in Tarrant County district court asking that the east-side sign be allowed to remain.
The company argues in the suit that Kerin Fleck, who was then the town's planning and zoning coordinator, told company officials in February 2007 that the east-side sign could be approved through administrative channels. Fleck and Town Manager Brandon Emmons approved the sign that same month, according to the suit.
But in November, town officials told Quanah representatives that some residents had complained about the sign and that it would have to be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the council, according to the suit.
The company spent more than $100,000 to erect the sign, according to the suit.
Emmons and Town Attorney Patricia Adams declined to comment Thursday. Hotel officials could not be reached for comment.
Fleck no longer works for the town of Trophy Club.
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