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Tag: Clear Channel


Lawmakers look to allow digital billboards on state highways

A bill introduced in the Legislature this week would allow what the Tacoma City Council has refused: digital billboards.

Billboard owner Clear Channel is asking lawmakers to allow digital signs along Washington’s state highways.

The state Senate last year voted for a similar measure, but it didn’t pass the House. This year’s bill, sponsored by Des Moines Democrat Dave Upthegrove, will start in the House. It would allow “static” signs that hold the same picture, without flashing or showing videos.

A Clear Channel lobbyist said the company is trying to replace existing traditional signs, not put up new ones.

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Tacoma: Planning Commission wanted to recommend “digital billboards be prohibited outright”

Just before the City Council stepped in to consider a billboard moratorium as a way to “buy more time” for city decision-makers, Tacoma’s planning commission was poised to issue recommendations this month that would call for banning digital billboards altogether in the city.

After discussing options to allow the electronic advertising signs during their meeting on May 4, planning commissioners ultimately decided “that their preferred recommndation was that digital billboards be prohibited outright,” meeting minutes show.

“This is the recommendation that they would like to forward to the Council, and (city staffer) Ms. (Shirley) Schultz indicated that an appropriate code amendment would be prepared to accompany the report and recommendation.”

Those recommendations run counter to a proposed settlement agreement that the City Council forged with Clear Channel Outdoor last July that seek to allow the company to build as many as 38 digital billboards in the city. That agreement has an Aug. 15 deadline.

The planning commission is on the verge of finishing its report and recommendations, and likely would have given them to the council some time after its meeting on Wednesday, Schultz, the city staffer assigned to the commission, told me Monday.

But now, with the city council stepping in to float a billboard moratorium just before the commission had delivered its recommendation,  it’s unclear what the commission’s future involvement in the billboard issue will be. The council will discuss and vote on the moratorium ordinance tonight, during its regular meeting in City Hall at 5 p.m.  Citizens can comment on the issue.

Several council members have said they plan to consider the 6-month moratorium on any new billboards as a way to give the planning commission more time for considering potential changes to the city’s billboard code.

According to recent meeting minutes posted on the city’s website, planning commissioners have been concerned about the council and mayor’s expectations for their work in reviewing proposed changes to the city’s billboard regulations that would allow for Clear Channel’s settlement terms.

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Note to T-Town Tweeples: Billboard being built on tribal land, not in the city

Tacoma tweeples beware:  Reports on Twitter today that Clear Channel Outdoors may be building a new digital billboard in the city are mistaken.

A barrage of tweets from popular local blogger Tacoma Mama today questioned the city as to whether the billboard giant may be jumping the gun by building a new electronic sign before Tacoma has actually agreed to a controversial settlement.

The settlement now being considered would allow Clear Channel to swap its existing billboards for fewer digital ones in exchange for dropping a lawsuit against the city.

Tweets about the billboard today included the following:

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