Electronic Signs May Need Different Rules

Officials in Abilene, Texas, are trying to pass an electronic sign ordinance "proactively" but are facing great resistance, as has been the case for other cities.
August 18, 2008, 11am PDT | Larry Schooler
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"Representatives from the billboard and sign industries questioned the need for Abilene to write ordinances regarding signs before problems develop.

At a meeting with city officials Thursday, Jon James, director of planning and development services for the city, responded by saying that delaying regulations until numerous signs were in place would mean the city would be stuck with any undesirable situations.

Much discussion revolved around the minimum amount of time the message on an electronic sign must remain static before changing (10 seconds in the proposed ordinance) and how much of a distraction such signs would be for drivers.

Several in attendance said the ability to run multiple messages was a major selling point and that an ordinance could diminish that advantage.

Others mentioned that tighter limitations make it difficult to place new billboards and that putting several messages on one board was, by necessity, the wave of the future."

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Published on Thursday, August 14, 2008 in Abilene Reporter-News
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