When property owner Richard Modolo uncovered an old Coca-Cola sign while removing asbestos siding from his Bernal Heights building in 1991, it's unlikely he anticipated the controversy it would create 20 years later.
Since its discovery, he's been maintaining the sign, touching it up occasionally with fresh paint jobs. Two weeks ago, neighborhood blog Bernalwood broke the story that the sign at 601 Tompkins Ave. had become the target of an anonymous person who complained to the city. A subsequent investigation by the Planning Department concluded that the sign was in violation of anti-billboard laws and must be removed by Feb. 24, or Modolo will face fines of $100 per day.
The Planning Department (and the affronted NIMBY) underestimated the tenacity of the sign's advocates.