Central Long Beach
You may have seen the World Famous VIP sign while driving down Pacific Coast Highway in Central Long Beach. This sign purchased by Kelvin Anderson many years ago is the source of a contentious battle between city officials and long time small business owner of World Famous VIP Records, Kelvin Anderson.
World Famous VIP Records alleges the City of Long Beach has gone behind Kelvin Anderson’s back by working to strip his ownership rights of the now historic VIP World Famous Records sign, and has filed a public petition on change.org.
Read the full petition here:
“The City of Long Beach with the support of Mayor Robert Garcia is proceeding with an illegal Historic Landmark Preservation of the World Famous VIP Sign.
Kelvin Anderson, the founder of VIP Records, owns the sign, but the owner of the building where the sign sits on top of applied for a historic landmark at the encouragement of the city of Long Beach in 2015. This action according to a commissioned city report was done to keep Mr. Anderson from taking his sign – the one he owns all rights to and has maintained for decades – down from the building.
The building owner also stated that in 2016 that he asked Christopher Koontz from the city’s planning division to withdraw the application for the landmark. Mr. Koontz proceeded without his consent and without the consent of Mr. Kelvin Anderson, who owns the trademarks and the trade fixture.
Long Beach’s black population has decreased by 10% or more in the past few years, and the continued gentrification of the black community continues with an illegal action such as this.
The city is taking the position that a city ordinance can force the historic preservation of property without the owner’s consent. This is not legal. The state laws are clear that an owner must approve landmark preservation before it can be finalized. The city’s ordinance cannot supersede a state law.
When Mr. Anderson first started the petition, he did not know that an application to preserve the sign had already been filed using the name of a different owner. This application was filed without the legal consent of Mr. Anderson and takes away his rights of ownership and control of his sign.
On March 7, 2017, we were informed by Christopher Koontz that the preservation is moving forward a hearing is scheduled on April 10, 2017.
We demand the immediate withdrawal of the application for preservation.
We beseech Mayor Garcia to reverse this illegal action by the city. Mr. Anderson contacted you on January 10, 2017, but you strung him along for months until your team finalized what was needed to strip Mr. Anderson of his rights. There is no excuse for the city’s current actions, Mayor Garcia, and this is not what you want for your legacy.
Mr. Anderson is a respected member of the Long Beach community, having built his VIP Records brand with hard work, sweat, and tears.
The VIP FAMILY!”
Mayor Robert Garcia has reached out to Shirin Senegal, a representative for VIP Records stating a meeting is in the process of being setup to discuss this matter.
To view the full petition online, click here.