August 17, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Citizen Action Needed On Billboards In L.A.

By Patrick Frank, Venice Resident

Now is the time for those concerned about billboard blight to step and be heard. The City Planning Commission (CPC) will hear from the Planning and Land Use Management committee (PLUM) about a proposed revision of the L.A. Citywide Sign Ordinance at its pubic meeting on Oct. 22, so this is a unique opportunity for citizens and activists who care about the proliferation of commercial speech on billboards to weigh in.

The sign ordinance is extremely complex, but four areas of concern can be isolated for clear comment:

(1) Illegal and unpermitted billboards. There are more than 900 such structures in the city, and PLUM has submitted a proposal that includes amnesty for all of them. The City Attorney has offered to sort out this regulatory mess and issue takedown orders where appropriate; we need to encourage the CPC and the City Council to refuse amnesty and rely on the City Attorney.

(2) Sign districts (areas of heavy commercial traffic such as Sunset Strip, L.A. Live, etc). Fourteen new sign districts have been proposed but not acted on since the last review of the sign ordinance in 2009. PLUM is proposing that all of those districts be “grandfathered” into the new sign ordinance, without weighing community input or environmental impacts. We need to urge the CPC to resist the temptation to grandfather; rather, the CPC needs to rely on existing sign district certification procedures.

(3) Digital signs outside sign districts. The PLUM proposal is to use the relatively low hurdle of the Conditional Use Permit to allow such signs outside sign districts. However, digital signs outside sign districts are the very definition of visual blight and need to be disallowed entirely.

(4) Takedown ratios. New billboards have been forbidden in L.A. since 2002, believe it or not. Yet they have proliferated, due to lack of regulatory zeal on the part of the city, and outright law-breaking by sign companies (see #1 above). For every new square foot of new digital billboards in sign districts, we need the sign companies to take down 8 square feet of traditional billboards elsewhere. For new traditional billboards, a takedown ratio of 4:1 will begin to restore some balance.

It can seem as though the complexity of this legislation is purposely crafted to deter citizen input. But we need to resist the temptation to fall into silence. The sign companies have powerful lobbyists and they will be throwing everything they have at this meeting, and at later steps of the process leading up to City Council action in the future. To take action now, go to the meeting and speak on one or more of the above points. Or send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject heading CPC-2015-3059-CA. Ask that your message be entered into the record.

For more information on the issue in general, go to http://banbillboardblight.org/annals-of-inaction-l-a-s-new-sign-ordinance.

Related Posts

LAPD Apprehends Bio-Hazard Waste Dumping RV Dwellers

October 12, 2010

October 12, 2010

Earlier today the LAPD Pacific Division apprehended the bio-hazard waste dumping RV dwellers that had remained at large with a...

NPR: At Venice Beach, Rich, Poor And Middle Class Coexist

July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014

A new radio piece from NPR’s “All Things Considered” released today discusses the benefits to economic mobility of living in...

Water Main Breaks (Again) on Carrol Canal

July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014

Nick Antonicello just sent in this photo from the scene where a water main broke last night on the 200...

Lightning Strike Causes Injuries, 1 Death

July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

We were exiting the 10 Freeway at Lincoln when we heard a MASSIVE thunderclap, which apparently caused a number of...

Mirror Media Group acquires Yo! Venice!

July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Mirror Media Group, the Westside’s largest local media company, has acquired yovenicenew.wpengine.com. Yo! Venice! website founder Bret Haller, 45, died...

LAPD Pacific Division warns of increase in burglaries during summer

August 1, 2014

August 1, 2014

The Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division has issued a number of Summertime Burglary Prevention Tips, saying “burglars don’t stop...

Former Maker Studios Co-Founder Raises $25 Million for Venice’s Zealot

August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

The ousted former CEO and co-founder of Maker Studios has reportedly raised $25 million to launch Zealot Networks, a digital...

Venice Neighborhood Council Meetings This Week

August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

This first full week of August features four meetings for the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC). VNC’s Housing Committee meets Aug....

VNC Planning Committee to discuss Housing Audit Bill

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) could be deciding Tuesday, Aug. 5 whether to support a bill in Sacramento to audit...

New app touted as AMBER alert for cardiac arrest victims

August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

A mobile app that allows users to render immediate aid to cardiac arrest victims in their vicinity will be launched...

Los Angeles Arts Sustainability Tour comes to Venice

August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

The Los Angeles Arts Sustainability Tour (LAAST), an informative and fun neighborhood event, will take place on Sat., Aug. 9...

County Looks at Marketing Firm for Obesity Program

August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

A local marketing firm just a few blocks east of Venice could be helping County officials to do a media...

Los Angeles to Combat Illegal Vending on Venice Boardwalk

August 7, 2014

August 7, 2014

Los Angeles will crackdown on what it describes as “illegal vending” on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, as the City Council unanimously...

Ralph Terrazas named Los Angeles Fire Department Chief

August 8, 2014

August 8, 2014

Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas won the unanimous support of the City Council today to become the...

Venice councilman seconds motion for “Czar” to coordinate homeless services

August 9, 2014

August 9, 2014

A Los Angeles city councilman said on Friday a “czar” should be brought in to coordinate services for the homeless...