No Contest? Community Activists vs. Sign Company and Business Lobbyists

At last week’s City Council committee hearing on a new sign ordinance, a total of 29 community activists and neighborhood council representatives spoke of their concerns that weaknesses in the ordinance would lead to a proliferation of billboards and digital signs and open up public property, including city parks, to commercial advertising.

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New Sign Ordinance: Undermining Community Benefits

Some of the many billboards in the vicinity of the proposed sign district for the Midtown Crossing Shopping Center

If you make your money in real estate development or outdoor advertising, there’s lots to like in the new L.A. sign ordinance set for hearing before a city council committee on Aug. 9. But if you’re concerned with blight, clutter, and advertising overload in the city’s visual environment, you may be disappointed, because the new ordinance leaves the door open for off-site advertising–including digital signs–to legally proliferate in many parts of the city, including public parks and recreation facilities.

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New Sign Ordinance May Enable Ads in L.A. City Parks

These playground fences could be hung with ads under a new sign ordinance provision

Citizens alarmed last year by a plan to raise revenue by selling advertising on signs in city parks and recreation facilities may have thought those plans were safely dead and buried, but a little-discussed provision of a proposed new citywide sign ordinance appears to breathe new life into that much-maligned plan.

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New L.A. Sign Ordinance: More Signs? More Blight?

Some of the new billboards allowed by sign districts in the past decade

After a long slumber, a new city sign ordinance is finally heading for the L.A. City Council, albeit in a form that could enable a net increase of hundreds of thousands of square feet of off-site advertising on digital displays and other sign types in a wide area of the city.

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Creative Math? AEG Counts Revenue From Convention Center Signs That Haven’t Been Approved

At last Monday’s town hall meeting on a proposed NFL stadium and convention center expansion downtown, AEG president Tim Leiweke said that revenue from advertising signs on the convention center facade would help pay debt service on the nearly $300 million in bonds the city would issue to finance that expansion. But even though Leiweke spoke of commitments and guaranteed revenue from advertisers, that signage proposed for the freeway-facing facade at the heavily trafficked confluence of the 10 and 110 freeways has never been approved by the city council.

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Death Knell? 9th Circuit Rejects Last Active Supergraphic Sign Ban Challenge

 

One of a series of supergraphic signs put up by Vanguard Outdoor on Robertson Blvd. office building. Fire officials have testified in a criminal proceeding that the sign could impede firefighters trying to reach persons inside. (Photo from 2009)

The mother lode imagined by sign companies and property owners who sought to turn hundreds of Los Angeles buildings into giant advertisements for movies, TV shows, cars, fast food and other products and services has proven to consist almost entirely of fool’s gold. (more…)

Is the Ink Dry? Last Month’s Approval of Wilshire Grand Signage Cited in Federal Court Challenge to L.A. Code

Left, electronic signage of the type approved for Wilshire Grand; right, billboards in South L.A. For each square foot of billboard display removed, developer gets credit for 3 sq. ft. of the electronic signage

From the moment developers of the Wilshire Grand project downtown publicly disclosed their intention to wrap the buildings in a 300,000 sq. ft. electronic skin that would display colored, changing images, including commercial ads, some people have raised alarms about the possibility that approval would undermine enforcement of the city’s general ban on new off-site advertising. While that possibility scarcely registered in City Council meetings on the project that more closely resembled pep rallies than debates, it came through clearly last week in a filing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals alleging that approval of the signage is an unconstitutional exception to the ban. (more…)

Does Jan Perry Think Wilshire Grand Should Get Sign Credits For Removing “Illegal” Billboards?

Left, illegal billboard within sight of Wilshire Grand project; right, Councilwoman Jan Perry

At a March 1 meeting of the L.A. City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee, councilwoman Jan Perry told members that a sign district proposed for the $1 billion-plus Wilshire Grand project would require the takedown of “illegal” signs in exchange for almost 30,000 sq. ft. of electronic advertising signage on the building’s façade. (more…)

Early Christmas: Red Ink-Stained City Set to Hand L.A. Developer Signage Entitlements Worth Many Millions

Architect's rendering at right shows some of the electronic signage proposed for the Wilshire Grand project. (Sign simulation by Curbed LA)

The nearly 30,000 square feet of electronic advertising to be emblazoned on the building facade of the proposed Wilshire Grand project is likely to bring millions in revenue to the property owner, but nothing to the barren treasury of the city that is being asked to allow the signage by granting exceptions to the city’s ban on new off-site advertising. (more…)

Phoenix Rising: Long-Dormant L.A. Sign Ordinance Coming Back To the Table

Members of City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee, from left, chairman Ed Reyes; Jose Huizar; Paul Krekorian

Almost exactly two years ago, the City Planning Commission (CPC) approved a new sign ordinance that prohibited digital signs and greatly limited the city’s ability to grant exceptions to its existing ban on off-site and supergraphic signage.  For various reasons, that ordinance never reached the City Council floor, but now it appears that the council committee where it languished unseen but not forgotten will finally take it up again. (more…)

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