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Lola's sign approved

Mayor says new businesses should be given adequate information about city rules

March 10, 2009
By Ron Larsen Staff Writer

NEW ULM - Lacey Lueth, Lola's Larkspur Market operator, got her revised sign for the front of the Larkspur building approved Monday night, and the Heritage Preservation Commission got a bit of a dressing down from the mayor about the way Lueth's sign request was handled at the commission's regular meeting last week.

Barb Stirling of the New Ulm Retail Development Corporation spoke in Lueth's behalf because Lueth was tied up with bistro details after opening Monday, Stirling said.

While some folks got upset with the commissioners for telling Lueth she had to keep her sign wording to two fonts instead of the three fonts that were to be used, Lueth chose to start the heeling process right then and there.

"Lacey wishes to express that she believes that by using the lesser number of fonts on the sign that the sign has a 'cleaner' look and that the message is overall easier to read," Stirling quoted her as saying.

"She also would like to thank Dave Christian with the City of New Ulm and the New Ulm Retail Development Corporation for their help in this matter and the understanding of its process. Most importantly, she would like it to be noted that she thanks the Heritage Preservation Commission for the availability of this grant, its administration and funding. It's appreciated very much."

Because the Larkspur is one of the qualifying buildings in the downtown historic district, she will qualify for a grant reimbursing her up to 50 percent of the sign's cost.

For the record, the words "Lola's" (12-inch high letters) and "An American Bistro" (9 inches high) are in Commercial Script and the words "Larkspur Market" are in 6-inch-high Helvetica.

Lueth also had the sign's colors changed a bit. A 2-inch sign border is in a copper/brick Terra Cotta color. The sign's background is almond colored, and the words, "Lola's" and "Larkspur Market" are painted to match PMS 284 blue. The words "An American Bistro" are in Terra Cotta, as well.

After what happened with Lueth's sign request, Mayor Joel Albrecht said the commission and staff should make "sure that they [new businesses] be given adequate information about all of our rules."

He also noted that everyone involved should be asking, "is there a way to smooth out the process? We should also be trying to find out what the problems were and how we might eliminate them. I'm sure we can figure out a way [to make the process smoother]."

"Staff does make every effort to explain it [to businesses putting up signage]. She just got caught up in getting her store ready," Building Official Dave Christian said, noting that he had sent her information about signage in January.

"We're not here to make it difficult [for people to put up signs]," Chairperson Deb Zahn responded.

Ron Larsen can be reached at



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