Santa Clarita Billboard Flap Set To Draw Protests At City Council Meeting
SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Protestors were expected to be on hand Tuesday evening for a City Council vote on whether to allow the installation of electronic billboards on freeways in Santa Clarita.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports public outcry has greeted the past two City Council meetings for what some residents claim would be an illegal move.
Under the proposal by Metro, Santa Clarita would eliminate 118 billboards on 62 structures along Interstate 5 and State Route 14 in exchange for allowing three double-sided, freeway-adjacent digital billboards on public property.
Opponents say the proposal – which would involve re-zoning the Norland Drive site along the 14 freeway from “open space” to “business park” – would violate the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, which prohibits any open space from being re-zoned to a business park solely for the sake of outdoor advertising.
Some Santa Clarita residents like Patti Sulpizio also voiced safety concerns.
“Billboards create light, electronic billboards are dangerous and distracting to drivers, they’re harmful to wildlife,” said Sulpizio.
In response to critics, Santa Clarita city spokeswoman Gail Morgan cited a Metro comparison study that found the light emanating from the digital billboards was actually less than the current billboards in the city “because they’re LED, because they dim as the night gets later.”
The City Council vote is scheduled at 6.p.m. at Santa Clarita City Hall.