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updated: 4/23/2014 10:30 AM

Palatine council debates proposed McDonald's sign

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Would a new, large electronic video sign outside the McDonald's on Rand Road in Palatine pose a danger to drivers?

That question was debated Monday by the Palatine village council, which is expected to vote May 12 on whether to allow the sign.

The proposed sign would measure more than 8 feet by 4 feet and display color images. It would replace an existing sign that measures 6 feet by 2 feet board and displays only messages.

Council member Jim Clegg said he worries the new sign would be so big and bright that it would distract drivers at the busy intersection of Rand Road and Dundee Road, about 800 feet away.

Village Manager Reid Ottesen concurred, calling the intersection "one of the most dangerous intersections in the state."

"There's enough distraction. I don't want people trying to look at the traffic light and you see this (sign) changing off in the distance," Ottesen said.

Larry and Eileen Kushner, the owners of the McDonald's, said they want to install the new sign as part of an extensive remodeling effort to the store, and because parts are no longer available to repair the old sign.

Larry Kushner said he has seen other businesses with video boards change their message frequently, sometimes as quickly as five second intervals, but that their business has always followed village standards.

"We've always abided by the rules as long as we've had a reader board," Kushner said. "If (the rule is) the message doesn't change for 60 seconds or 30 seconds, we adhere to that. We've never broken the rules."

Clegg said he wanted to work with the Kushners on a solution.

"We don't want something that would harm the business," Clegg said. "We are looking for a compromise that would work well, that would still give you something up there but would not be so bright that it would stand out and be a distraction."

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