When the Castro Valley Central Business District plan was written two decades ago, who'd have imagined that its rules governing signs would create difficulties for local businesses.
But maybe it's time those rules were revisited as Dampa Filipino Food becomes the second business is the last few weeks to run afould of the sign restrictions on Castro Valley Boulevard.
Patch recently reported how Boulevard Burger was ordered to take down an art deco sign that county officials said violated a rule forbidding displays that rose above the roofline.
Dampa apparently committed a similar transgression.
For about a year the restaurant had used a banner to attract customers to its somewhat hidden location behind the Chevron station.
Maria Calalo, who runs Dampa with her husband Chef Sunthie, told Patch that their landlord recently informed them that the county wanted the banner to come down.
Why Calalo isn't completely sure. Neverteless the owners reluctantly complied.
Their reluctance owed to the fact that the banner had helped solve a problem.
Calalo said locals had little trouble finding the place. But out-of-town customers were getting confused.
When the restaurant's address -- 2960 Castro Valley Boulevard -- is plugged into Google Maps, the instructions direct drivers to the Chevron station.
But Dampa is a behind the station, bit north of the Boulevard and off to the right of Anita Street.
"Many of our customers are coming from other cities," Calalo said. "The banner helped us a lot to direct customers here."
(Learn more about Dampa in this Patch video by Raymond and Matthew Day.)
Now that the banner no longer flies, how Castro Valley is helped now and how was harmed before?