Sign redesign in the works at Torrey Hills Apartments

The Irvine Company is in the process of rebranding its signage for the Torrey Hills Apartment Homes and will work with the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board on a solution that works for all.

According to Ruben Andrews of Graphic Solutions, Irvine decided to suspend processing of its previous sign proposal after hearing the planning board had concerns about the size of the signs in a residential area. The new sign program proposed on March 21 has been significantly reduced in size and a subcommittee was formed for board members to work with the company on the design.

The signs are larger than what is permitted in the city’s municipal code, however, Andrews said the allowances for signage is very restrictive in the zone — it only permits signs no greater than 6 square feet and a maximum of 4 feet high.

There are two signs on the property currently that were installed 20 years ago when the project was first built — these signs are also larger than what is allowed in the zone but are considered “legal non-conforming” as they were placed before the code. Irvine Company purchased the apartments from Archstone and are looking to rebrand the signs with the company’s image.

There are 340 units in the Torrey Hills Apartments development and at any one time there are 15 to 18 vacant units and 50 to 75 people looking for the complex — Andrews said the signs are needed to direct people where they need to go.

The proposed new signage would include one on the embankment near the main entry, a small monument sign on the corner of Calle Mar de Mariposa and West Ocean Air and a main entrance sign in the median. The median sign is proposed to be about 9”7 wide and 3”5 feet high, replacing an existing sign that is 11 feet wide by 5”6 high. They also plan to remove the surrounding stonework.

Several planning board members remarked the proposed signs looked “austere” and that the stonework seemed to be a better fit with the surrounding community. Torrey Hills Planning Board Chair Kathryn Burton said she appreciated the reduced size of the signs but lamented that they were losing the decorative features around the old signs that seemed to better fit the community.

John Pierce, senior director of Irvine Company, said they are willing to re-design the signs to make them more architecturally-enhanced.

“We’re a part of the community… we want to make sure it’s right,” Pierce said.

Irvine owns two other projects in Torrey Hills, including Torrey Ridge and Torrey Villas, representing more than 12,000 apartment homes in the area. With Torrey Hills, they have renovated the interiors and exteriors as well as making improvements to the on-site landscaping and contributing about $45,000 to Torrey Hills’ maintenance assessment district for landscape improvements in the community.