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home : opinions : opinions November 25, 2015

10/8/2013 10:22:00 AM
Letter: Sign variance unfair to local businesses
Williams-Grand Canyon News

To the editor:

My name is Chuck Sandoval. I am the owner of Sandoval's Mobil and Sandoval's Shell in Williams, Ariz. I would like to make clear that I am not against Love's travel center coming into our town. I am, however, against the sign variance that was granted to Love's by our city council and mayor. The variance gives Love's more signage and larger signage (without a legally valid reason) which no other business owner or property owner is entitled to or can obtain.

The staff, council, mayor and city manager all broke the city codes to accommodate this very large corporation. The decision was driven by ulterior motives - not the legal requirements that are required to consider. I am not against fair competition. I am not against Love's coming to Williams. What I am against is Love's obtaining preferential treatment in the form of larger signs and more signs (without which Love's has openly stated they would not establish a presence in Williams).

How many other business or property owners do you think would be approved for such exceptional special privileges without meeting the legal requirements of showing they are disadvantaged to begin with? What would you do if such an unfairly given variance affected you or your business?

Again after this sign variance was approved the mayor, several council members and the city manager had a pretty good celebration at the Wild West Junction, breaking their own city codes.

Lets all apply for larger signs.

Thank you,

Chuck Sandoval

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

Its hard to feel any sympathy for Chuck considering his outrageous gas prices. I usually buy just enough gas to get get to Flagstaff. I use the Pilot in Bellemont or The Maverick in Flagstaff. Or going to the Safeway gas station when I need to go to any place near the Hospital. The price difference is considerable. Others tell me of doing the same.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: say what

Love's is going to spend millions of dollars in Williams??? I guess you mean when they build their "gas"station, it will cost them that much to erect it. They aren't "spending" millions of dollars in Williams. Taxes paid to Williams, oh ok. Chuckie doesn't have a empire, he has two stations. Seems to me like there are plenty of other stations in town to buy gas from other then Chucks. Circle K, Cowan and Magee, Wagnor, Olson's and so on.

Once again the issue went right over your head. It is about a unfair variance provided to Loves, a Oklahoma company, which will allow them to build a sign that is larger then the city's sign code allows. Very simple.

Why can't Love's just build their gas station and follow the City's sign ordinance?????

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Williams Citizen

Come on, Chucks just a business man protecting his empire. Cant blame him for wanting to keep things the same but for the rest of us, not so good. I bet most citizens here would like to save $200-300/ year in lower gas bills. Personally I wouldnt spend a dime in that establishment but I respect his right to make a living. Just as I respect Love's for recognizing an opportunity here in Williams. Not to mention the millions in dollars they will spend here and provide in taxes paid to the city.

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: why have a sign ordinace at all??? right?

Quite frankly why even have a sign ordinace? If you are going to grant variances for any bogus reason(such as Loves) then why have it?

Is Bearzona in competition with another zoo in the area? So that example really doesn't stand up well.

This non-sense about competition. There already is competition all over town. So it isn't about competition. It is about fairness, and why should Love's be granted permission to have a bigger sign then is allowed by city ordinance?

Chuck Sandoval should not have to apply for a sign ordinance. The city should enforce the one they have and not cave to pressure from a big company from Oklahoma.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Quick Question

Why is it that only Sandoval is protesting the new sign? doesn't it also impact the other stations - or are they not afraid of the competition. Also what the Council did on its sign regulations is not much different then what the city had to do to get Bearizona to locate here. To get that to happen Williams had allow for a sign variance as well....it is very common. The Sandoval's are protesting to much

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Fred Manual

I think you would have more sympathy if your prices hadn't been so high for the past 30 years. I do agree with you about {edited per terms of use} the town council. I wonder what they're getting out of the deal.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Just an honest question

Chuck, have you ever applied for a variance of your own? The Shell by Denny's has applied for and recieved a variance. Why have you not sued them? The Chevron near the Love's location got one as well. As well as the McDonalds between your stations. Yet no lawsuit against them. This is ALL about prices, and everyone in this town knows it! Anyone else noticed that the Conoco and Mobil stations are down around 20 cents/gallon recently compared to the other Route 66 stations? Preparing for the inevitable?

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Michelle Sandoval

I can't believe people are still associating gas prices with this. If you read the article, you can clearly understand gas prices have nothing to do with it. Are you buying gas at Mobil or Shell? Does the price of Chuck's gas affect you in any way? Chuck is very fair with his customers and his local customers. He's had them for almost 30 years. Some old, some new. They leave happy. Please, if you can write a comment, at least have the decency to sign your name to it.

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Article comment by: TO CHUCK

Chuck, I would be glad to support your right to put up a super large sign that said "Highest Priced Gas for 100 miles"

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