• Another Locality Accepts Digital Billboards

    Darlington County (South Carolina) changed its sign ordinance to allow digital billboards; the new ordinance was approved August 13.

    Those advocating updates to local controls to keep pace with technology will find model components in the Darlington County.

    Here’s how the county changed its ordinance:

    • The county added a definition for digital billboards: “Digital Sign means an off-site sign or billboard that utilizes digital or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or similar electronic methods to create a changeable image display area.”
    • Display time duration is six seconds.
    • A nonconforming billboard can be converted to a same-size digital billboard: “The conversion of a preexisting nonconforming off-site sign to a digital sign or electronically changeable message sign, including structural improvements, is permitted and shall not be considered as a removal, replacement, change, expansion, or restoration of a nonconformity.”
    • Lighting levels cannot exceed 0.3 foot candles over surrounding light, a common standard adopted by state and local governments. This standard was developed through industry-sponsored research.  The ordinance bans flashing light, animation, and video.

    Insider’s take:  If you’re looking for language to update your local ordinance, click here to review the new code in Darlington County, SC.



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    One Comment

    1. Margaret Kyle says:

      A win, Win for the billboard industry. The fact that a non-conforming can be converted is great because it says a sign is a sign is a sign as long as you are not making it any more non-conforming, there is no difference other than how the ad is displayed.