Billboard rules advanced by City Council committee

 Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Because Philadelphia’s 2012 major overhaul of zoning rules did not address billboards, Philadelphia City Council is updating regulations on commercial signs.

At a hearing Tuesday, Rosanne Adams testified against the plan that she fears would allow billboards to  pop up in scenic areas.

“Please do not attempt to alter the protected legal status and the special signage controls for the Parkway and other 15 scenic areas around Philadelphia,” she said.

Councilman Bobby Henon, who said the regulations would create more revenue for the city from fewer signs, said they also would freeze the number of billboards in the city.

“It’s a compromise. You know you are doing a good job when not everybody is going to be happy,” he said. “But who is going to be happy is the city of Philadelphia’s residents when it comes to regulating outdoor advertising in their neighborhoods.”

The bill mandates that owners of billboards in some areas surrender two existing signs in order to put up a digital one. In designated “digital” areas, they can replace a standard billboard with an electronic one.

The bill now goes to the full City Council for consideration.

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