An Answer For Inquiring Minds: Where Are L.A.’s Billboards?

For those tired of waiting for the city’s recent billboard inventory to be made public, an online interactive map where members of the public can input locations and other data about the city’s thousands of billboards has been created by a graduate student at USC.

The map was created by Elisabeth Sedano as the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation in geography.  According to Sedano, the map is an “an attempt to harness the power and knowledge of the public” to “create a body of knowledge that the city and its agencies have as yet been unable to.”

According to spokespersons for the city’s Department of Building and Safety, a block-by-block inventory and inspection of every billboard in the city, originally mandated by the city council in 2002 but delayed by billboard company legal challenges until 2009, has been completed.  However, determining whether those billboards comply with their permits has been slowed because of incomplete or missing records for the older billboards.

According to building department sources, the inventory found approximately 6,300 billboard structures with a total of 9,000 faces.  An estimated 20 per cent of those are out of compliance with their permits, most often due to being enlarged, raised, or having a second face added without proper permits.

Dennis Hathaway

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