Friday, October 17, 2008

Los Angeles City Planning Commission Adopts Preliminary Motion to Ban all New Electronic Billboards


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.

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