Regulatory Roundup – November 24th

Insider reported in August about Fall River, MA plans to allow Boston based OOH company Capital Associates to erect digital billboards on 8 city owned sites.  Up front fees were projected at $10-15 million and lease revenues of $650,000 to the city based on a 20 year agreement.

Those plans stalled this week as the Zoning Board of Appeals voted to table the city’s request to issue special permits on 6 of the 8 proposed sites according to an article in The Herald News.  Concerns about safety issues have arisen related to the proposed 70 X 50 sized digital signs. The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the billboard project that will include what they would look like and how it the digital signs would impact the neighborhoods.

The city of Pocatello, ID, which was considering a permanent ban on billboards opted, this week to not adopt a revision to the city’s sign code.  The Idaho Business Journal shares the proposed changes would have implemented a “cap and trade” policy, allowing a new billboard only when another was removed and exchanged for a new sign or if one was annexed into the city. Static signs could not be converted to digital.  The revisions to the ordinance were proposed due to concerns and complaints pertaining to electronic billboards.

Insiders take – Looks like the sign and advertising community came out in force as the City Council acknowledged that if the current sign code is to be revised, there needs to be collaborative conversation with the sign manufacturing, outdoor advertising and advertising companies.

As you drive into Quakertown, PA, you might currently see the borough’s partially constructed Gateway Sign, which was approved by the borough council earlier this year.  (Insider has included a rendering of the completed sign). The structure is owned by Quakertown Outdoor LLC, a subsidiary of Catalyst Outdoor who owns and is paying for the sign at a cost of about $1.2 million and includes three digital signs.  The agreement between the town and billboard operator provides free space for Quakertown community event and other announcements.

The Intelligencer web site reports that more than 2,400 people have signed an online petition for removal of the sign and possibly relocating it in another part of the town.  The CEO of Catalyst Outdoor Advertising LLC, points out that the monument was approved by both Quakertown officials and the state Department of Transportation.  The sign is not on land owned by the borough, by is land leased by a private land owner.

Before Quakertown decides to require removal of a legally permitted sign they should consider what happened in Indianapolis when that city forced GEFT Outdoor to remove a newly permitted sign and were successfully sued.

 


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