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Hawaii County urges smaller signs for Kona hotel

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii County committee has rejected developers' plans to install signs for the Big Island's first Holiday Inn.

The Seattle-based developers want to install signs for the Kailua-Kona hotel that would be nearly four times bigger than the maximum allowed, West Hawaii Today reported (http://bit.ly/1qlaMRs ).

Kona Hospitality LLC, Han Gyu Kim and Mihyung Kim are seeking a variance from the county ordinance, which allows one sign per business or street frontage. It limits the size to 12 square feet.

The developers have proposed three signs that would be 43, 32 and 18 square feet.

The Public Works and Parks and Recreation Committee advised the developers to consult with the Kailua Village Design Commission and come back with plans for smaller signs.

The three-story, $10 million Holiday Inn Express & Suites is expected to be completed by fall.

Han Gyu Kim told the committee that the franchise agreement with Intercontinental Hotel Groups mandates the number and size of signs. He also questioned whether travelers would be able to find the new hotel if the signs are more subdued.

"The location is very tucked away from the major roads," he said. "We have a serious apprehension about whether the travelers would see it."

The developers want to have two signs along Sarona Road and one on Kuakini Highway. One would be on a pedestal.

Councilwoman Brenda Ford, who represents South Kona and Kau, said the proposed signs would be "massive."

"What we don't want in our village is to look like some of the superstores in our area that don't even look like they belong in Hawaii," Ford said.

"We really need to have standards," said Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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