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updated: 12/19/2013 11:12 PM

Algonquin gives green light to green lights at gas stations

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  • Algonquin officials now allow gas station operators to illuminate prices in green LED lights, like this BP gas station in Elgin has done.

       Algonquin officials now allow gas station operators to illuminate prices in green LED lights, like this BP gas station in Elgin has done.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

The owner of the BP gas station in Algonquin wanted to display gas prices in green LED lights, but the village allowed only red and amber-colored lights.

So Ratilal Patel asked the village to change the code. On Tuesday night, the board agreed to do just that.

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"They didn't give me a hard time or anything," Patel said of Algonquin officials. "I'm unbelievably happy."

Patel originally applied for a sign permit in October that would use green LED lights and Algonquin initially stuck by the code and turned him down.

Patel said he couldn't use red or amber lighting because BP requires green. Officials later acknowledged they, upon further reflection, also didn't agree with the light limitations.

"In staff's opinion, the code didn't make sense and we couldn't figure out why it was restricted to red and amber, when red and green are the industry standard colors," Community Development Director Russ Farnum said.

This week, the board added green lights to the list for use at all of the gas stations that want them. There are about 10 gas stations in the village.

"It shows we are business-friendly and we're willing to look at simple changes to our ordinances ... that are rational and allow a business to change a sign to follow not only their franchise design and style, but also following the industry standards," Farnum said.

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