Good News and Bad News at City Hall

The good news was that the PLUM Committee is investigating how to move away from adopting its own PLUM Version. However, the bad news is that Version B Plus also seems to have some opposition. There are parts of the city where there are many billboards, chiefly low-income areas, that don’t qualify to be sign districts and thus would not qualify for the takedowns that would be required in order to erect new digital signs.

The Committee Chair, Council Member Marqueece Harris-Dawson, made several requests of Planning Dept. staff. One was to define Billboard Blight, which we will offer to help them do. Another was to envision a middle ground between the two versions, which would allow digital signs in more areas than Version B Plus allows and fewer areas than the PLUM Version allows. We would not favor such a solution because of the danger of spreading digital signs.

Another request to the Planning Dept. was to study how neighborhoods outside sign districts could opt in to digital billboards. This sounded tempting if the city as a whole is presumed to be off-limits unless a neighborhood opted in. That possibility was of course opposed by the sign companies, who were present at the meeting and opined at length about the laughable “benefits” of digital signs and their wish to spread those benefits equally across Los Angeles. Some labor union members were also present, urging the erection of digital signs, which is ironic because the average life of an LED bulb in a digital sign (seven years) means that digital signs will require far less labor than static signs.

The Planning Dept. staff is to report back at the August 13 meeting, so save the date!!!!

I was interviewed today for KCRW by Frances Anderton. She said that a clip may be aired tonight (Wed. May 29) during drive time, with a further possibility of more extended coverage during her Design and Architecture show on Tuesday.

Patrick Frank

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.