PARC releases summary on digital billboard issue, encourages opposition
Full announcement from People Advocating Real Conservancy:
Last month the Planning and Zoning Commission met to review proposed revisions to the standards on digital billboards.
There was no consensus on how to proceed, but Commissioner Jane Mathews was adamant that all of the digital billboards should be removed since they are a public hazard to drivers on Merrimon Ave. Commissioner Paul Smith remarked that the digital billboards are too bright, they display too much advertising and the frequency of the changing ads creates a distraction. However, he also felt digital billboards reflect the future of advertising.
The Commission approved a motion for a continuance until the January 4th meeting. They also asked the staff to explore the cost of an amortization plan to remove the Merriman Ave billboard. Amortization would require that the city pay Fairway and William Palas the projected cost of removing the structure and loss of advertising.
No representatives from the billboard advertising industry present at the meeting. Commission Chair Mark Brooks asked City Staff to invite business owners and representatives from Fairway and Lamar Advertising to be present at next P&Z meeting. The Commission Chair did NOT make a similar request to have representatives of the Norwood Park Historic District or other community representatives to be present at the January 4th meeting.
Out of scale for the site--the digital billboard on Merrimon Avenue is inappropriate for an already tightly packed commercial corridor
Out of character for the community-- the corridor is used in a “neighborhood” fashion with elementary schools, churches and a public library lining the street
Merrimon Avenue is unique amongst the designated commercial corridors because of the residential neighborhoods on its immediate boundaries.
Merrimon Ave serves as a gateway to the nationally registered historic neighborhood of Norwood Park
Driver safety issues—a distraction for car drivers and therefore a safety issue for bike riders and pedestrians
If you oppose digital billboards please come to the next P&Z meeting
Planning and Zoning
Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 5 PM
1st Floor North Conference Room
in the City Building