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Analysis of the Proposed Sign (Billboard) Ordinance Finds that Neighborhood Improvement Stipulations are Weak

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Photo by tannazi via Flickr
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Billboard blight activist Dennis Hathaway has combed through the proposed sign ordinance released last week (download a copy here) and has found a bit of everything reflecting the good and the bad. There's lots of good, but if you're against sign districts--think Hollywood & Highland, a major commercial district in the city--then Hathaway sees a problem:

The most serious problem with sign districts is that in essence they hand sign companies and property owners an entitlement for off-site signs with their potential for huge amounts of revenue, but fail to require a commensurate community benefit in return. The ordinance requires a “sign reduction” program if the proposed sign district is characterized by excessive signage, or a “community beautification” program if it is not, but does not offer any language as to what would actually constitute such programs. Removal of an old rusty billboard in exchange for thousands of square feet of digital and supergraphic signage? Some tree plantings and park benches?

This sort of reminds us of the newly raised parking meter rates. Money put into the meter does not go back to the neighborhoods where parking meters are located.