Mike Harrah Gets Fined for Illegal Signs on His Santora Building, Shrugs

mike-harrah-on-cycle.jpg.jpg
From the Clockwork Coker Photoshop collection...
The Voice of OC has done a bang-up job the past couple of months reporting on the Banana Republic, and it finds itself in the same delicious situation we were in back in 2003: reporting on our unethical landlord, mega-developer Mike Harrah.

Harrah's latest morass is a seemingly small one, but it speaks volumes about how business is done in SanTana. Months ago, he put up some signs advertising his Original Mike's Cholo Bar--err, Restaurant--on the Santora Building, the historic downtown SanTana structure he owns and where the Voice of OC has its offices. Voice of OC reporter Adam Elmahrek called the city, and surprise, surprise! Harrah never bothered to apply for the proper permits with the proper agencies, both municipal and historical.

Two days ago, Elmahrek reported that SanTana has finally fined Harrah--a whopping $100. If Harrah doesn't comply, the city can fine him a stunning $500. Betcha we can find $500 in Harrah's beard right now--or in the glove compartment of the Escalade he uses to speed down Main Street nearly every morning.

Someone else should tabulate how many times Harrah has broken city codes in SanTana--I need to get ready for tomorrow's Patriots-Jets game. J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS!


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27 comments
pitufina
pitufina

Yeah, but he came back with vengeance against his tenants… We’ll see what evil way suits him best. For now, all I can say as an artist from the Santora Blgd, is that I feel extremely happy to see that he had to bring the very disrespectful signs down. Baby steps… Right, Gustavo? = {))

sweetpea
sweetpea

If violating signage codes are story worthy, then I could fill your publication with stories of banners, sandwich boards, multicolored buildings and whatnot that have all been fined by code enforcement officers in SA, Tustin, Orange etc.

Really, this is as minor as minor gets. He did an "oopsie" that hundreds of other business owners do daily. Get over it, Weekly.

John Smith
John Smith

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Nek_bbew
Nek_bbew

ooh good lord people, arguing personal preferences? Historic buildings are that way for a reason,..they get special low interest rates and other special condions because they are historic and are expected to remain so. A person buying a historic building gets the good the bad and the ugly - u accept it and grow some balls and follow directions. IF he has violated signage code,..then he has violated city signage code. FYI I do NOT like City of Santa Ana

margohasanewlease
margohasanewlease

hey, gustavo, will I read another rendition of this story with the same names and places but a different plot?

truth hurts
truth hurts

I prefer Mike's signs than human trash Subway sign shakers. I am sick of 17th St looking like TJ.

Dmr740
Dmr740

Pretty lame that you can't put your own property on... your own property. I don't know much about Mike, but I do know a bogus law when I see one.

anon
anon

Yet a couple local bloggers INSISTED that Harrah had done nothing wrong.

There's nothing worse than political observers who can't be objective. Talk about lack of credibility...!

Victor D. Infante
Victor D. Infante

>Someone else should tabulate how many times Harrah has broken city codes in SanTana--I need to get ready for tomorrow's Patriots-Jets game. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

So tragic. The Jets are doomed. SO doomed.

gabriel san roman
gabriel san roman

A slap on the wrist. A sign of the times.

Harrah should just acknowledge the obvious and rename his place "Original Gangstas!"

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Of course, if Mexicans were doing it, you'd be bitching and moaning about it...

Nek_bbew
Nek_bbew

The SA city is less than reputable anyway. I know friends who bought a building and put 100,000's into it and there is even parking nearby - plenty for the 300 plus seat hall, dance club, events venue. My friends are not Latino or Spanish but are,..gasp,..Asian and more specific Viet. Back to the discussion. YOU DO NOT PUT HOLES in a Historic Building. OMG - what a douche - seriously,...No respect for the History of the community or the building its self. Its an honor to have one of those bulidings. treat it as such.

anon
anon

Ahh, yes, that's lame. It's soooo lame for a city to want a degree of regulation when it comes to the aesthetic quality of their city. Yeah, that's lame.

If you like the alternative, then live in LA, where billboards, loose signage regulations and visual blight abounds. Yeah, go for it...businesses are GREAT at policing that sort of thing on their own.

Xicotanco
Xicotanco

It's not a bogus law at all. Every single other business owner in Santa Ana and the surrounding cities is expected to comply with all of the local ordinances, and most of them do it with no problem.Mr. Harrah is a habitual offender when it comes to signage. This is not the first time the city has put him on notice, and these aren't the only signs he put up recently without the proper permits. Harrah regularly gives the finger to the city, and most of the time he gets away with it.The Cholo bar Gustavo mentions is loaded with code enforcement issues right now, including being in violation their liquor license conditional use permit and some other unpermitted signage violations. In the case of the Santora signs, it's not necessarily just about the signs anymore. Mr. Harrah has ripped off the city of Santa Ana for the planning, permit, and inspection fees; is using a type of sign not permitted in that area of the downtown; violated his historical building status by putting holes in a historic structure; and is in violation of city ordinances forbidding offsite advertising.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

HA! Hey, I root for UCLA football, so please understand my delusions...

sweetpea
sweetpea

I talk to Mexican, Chinese, Anglo, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and whatnot ALL DAY long who have code issues with regard to signage/banners/flags etal. It is the product of an overbearing city and enforcement codes, not a matter of race, race-baiter-boy.

You can drive up and down Tustin St and see hundreds of those issues today alone and it isn't a matter of race or story worthy. So get off of this guy's jock and go find a real story.

Nek_bbew
Nek_bbew

oops forgot to mention the city wont give them permits to put in the venue for liquor license. The place would end up being one of the BEST dance clubs in all OC and for much of South LA as well. seriously - the lighting and upgrades are the bomb. Sad to hear but they are loosing the building because they cannot form it into a business better then they already do. I wonder if it is anti Asian or just anti not in the club of the city supervisors,.....

truth hurts
truth hurts

Nope, not bigoted, just want an American city to look like an American city, not a Mexican city. Sign shakers are not an attractive sight. We all know where a Subway is.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Hopeless to argue, he is not going to get it. I do find it comforting that you at least took the time to reply to DMR

Dmr740
Dmr740

That's all good and dandy, obviously you have beef with Harrah and I couldn't care less.

BUT

My statement was about the legitimacy of the law in general, and had nothing to do with anything you said, anyone who obeys/disobeys the law, or any particular transgressions of Mike Harrah. Please study up on reading comprehension.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Who are your friends, and what building? Tell me more...

Xicotanco
Xicotanco

There's nothing wrong with my comprehension, but I guess I should question yours.Which of the multiple laws in this instance is "bogus"?Failure to file plans for building modifications? Failure to acquire a building permit for work? Failure to submit to building inspections? Installing improper and unapproved signage? Damaging a protected historic structure?All of these are violations of Santa Ana's ordinances, and some may even violate state building code.

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