Return of the Convention Center Billboards: Planning Department Hearing Next Week

convention-center-sign-after1

Will The Convention Center Look Like This?

Next Monday, May 11, the city planning department will hold an initial hearing on the permissions needed for the nearly 50,000 sq. ft. of advertising signage proposed last year for the façade of the L.A. convention center.  The controversial proposal would have placed digital signs with changing messages directly facing the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways, one of the most heavily-traveled in the city, but a revised submittal has changed those to non-electronic signs.

The proposal to allow AEG, the owner of Staples Center and L.A. Live, to put up the signage in return for annual payments to the city first came before the City Council last September.  Only Councilman Bill Rosendahl opposed it, calling it a sweetheart deal for AEG and questioning the propriety of creating a potential traffic hazard with electronic signs less than 100 ft. from the freeway interchange.  Rosendahl was later joined in his criticism by Councilman Dennis Zine, who wasn’t present for the vote.

The hearing will be held in City Hall, Room 1020, beginning at 10 a.m.  Comments on the proposal can be made at the hearing, or sent in advance to Craig Weber, the planner who will conduct the hearing, at craig.weber@lacity.org.

A report on the hearing, along with the planner’s recommendations, will go to the City Planning Commission.  No date has been set for that meeting.

Since the council action last fall, the planning commission has approved a new sign ordinance that that bans digital signs in all but special sign districts.  The convention center is not in an existing sign district, but is part of the downtown area that would eligible for the establishment of sign districts in the future.

To read previous articles on the convention center signs:

New Sight for Freeway Users: Huge Electronic Advertising Signs on Convention Center
Equivalent of 74 Full-Size Billboards On L.A. Convention Center
Money, or Who Gets Heard at City Hall
Convention Center, Before and After
Is the Convention Center Billboard Deal Good Financially For the City?

Dennis Hathaway

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