NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Twenty Neighborhood Councils around the city have submitted Community Impact Statements to the City Council backing a Version B+ Billboard Law recommended by the City Planning Commission that limits digital signs to specific districts such as Downtown LA and Hollywood.
The Planning & Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) of the City Council has drafted a differing billboard law that allows a massive expansion of digital signage in all commercially zoned business areas. It currently awaits a PLUM Committee vote before moving to the City Council.
From Northridge to San Pedro, neighborhood councils across LA are vehemently opposed to further digital signage expansion. They prefer the status quo or an alternate legislative version, called Version B+, recommended by the City Planning Commission in May 2015.” He notes that the Planning Commission is composed of LA citizen representatives appointed by Mayor Garcetti.
It is unusual for so many neighborhood councils to weigh in on a pending piece of legislation and so far, no Neighborhood Council has submitted a vote in favor of the PLUM version.
The B+ proposal is much more reasonable than the PLUM Committee version that will cover our city with blinding LED-lit billboards including – for the first time ever – on-site digital signs by any business with a 150-foot street frontage.
The PLUM proposal is a complete sell-out to the billboard companies and their cadre of high paid lobbyists and attorneys. As Neighborhood Councils become aware of the threat of these digital signs popping up in their neighborhoods, they are taking action and voting to send a strong opposition message to their Council representatives.
Community Impact Statements are the means given to Neighborhood Councils to make their positions known on issues pending before the City Council.
Our city is going to be barraged with Las Vegas-style digital signage if the current Council Committee proposal is approved. To save their neighborhoods from this visual pollution, it’s time for all Angelenos to tell their Council members to keep the status quo on billboards or approve Version B+.
The full City Council could accept the City Planning Commission’s Version B+ instead of the PLUM legislation by a two/thirds vote.
(Patrick Frank is the president of the Ban Billboard Blight Coalition.)