Billboards cut out of new Philly signage ordinance for now

Philadelphia City Council wants to overhaul the zoning code for signs. But billboards are proving to be the represent the biggest stumbling block to that goal.

Current regulations are “a mess,” acknowledges Alan Greenberger, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development. A bill to overhaul them now has more than 50 pages of amendments, but Greenberger is hoping to get it moving.

“We’re going to recommend to you that the largest section that deals with non-accessory signs be stripped out of this ordinance so that the bill can move out of committee,” he told City Council Wednesday.

Non-accessory signs are also known as billboards.

Councilman William Greenlee says the matter will be addressed, even if billboards have to wait.

“It’s not that we are just putting this away and are going to forget about it. We’re going to pass a bill,” he said. “We’re hoping that all the entities meet reasonably quickly so we can get a bill introduced hopefully early in January.”

Neighborhood groups are still worried about the changes, but the bill’s sponsors are promising more amendments in December.

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