Billboard bill could be the start of another fight

A controversial billboard location is back for another round in Philadelphia City Council.

There have been many battles in the war to put a 10,000-square-foot billboard on the side of a building at Seventh and Callowhill streets.

In the latest attempt, Councilman Mark Squilla wants to take a portion of the advertising and earmark money for surrounding schools.

“We hoping to generate from the 20 percent given to this cause upwards of $300,000 to $500,000 a year for the local schools,” Squilla said.

Mary Tracy of the group Scenic Philadelphia tried to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court against wrapping the building with ads. She says placing any billboard on the building would be illegal.

“The laws are crystal clear on what can be there and what can’t be there,” she said. “This particular property owner is doing everything they can to circumvent the law.”

Tracy vows to fight against the sign again.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.