Taking aim at digital billboards in the wake of intense opposition from community groups in Hollywood, Venice, Encino, Silver Lake and other areas, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission adopted a preliminary motion to ban all new electronic billboards for a year.
The Interim Control Ordinance would stop, for at least one year, the proliferation of ultra-bright, electronic billboards while city officials study complaints pouring into City Hall and consider a possible rewrite of loose regulations that have allowed Los Angeles to become the center of the illegal billboard industry.
Planning Commissioner Michael Woo, who introduced the moratorium, also called for a tax or a fee on billboards to go into a citywide fund to combat blight.
Woo criticized as “ridiculously low” the nominal $100 fee that billboard companies pay City Hall to install a single, highly lucrative electronic billboard. A spot on a network of ten digital billboards owned by Clear Channel Outdoor or CBS Outdoor can cost $97,500 a month.