Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Opposition To Digital Billboard Proposal Growing

A move by the billboard industry to do an end-run around the Indianapolis' current zoning restrictions against digital billboards through council action is meeting growing opposition. Last week, the Metropolitan & Economic Development Committee approved a proposal drafted by lobbyists for the billboard industry to dictate changes in the City's zoning laws it wants to see to specifically benefit the owners of existing billboards by allowing them a process to begin converting some of those static billboards to digital signs. That effort has outraged local neighborhood leaders. One early backer of the proposal, Joe Simpson (D), tells WTHR's Mary Milz he now plans to vote against it.
 . . . Democratic Councilor Joe Simpson, who co-sponsored one proposal with Republican councilor Aaron Freeman, said he's been inundated with calls from opponents "upset this proposal was not brought before the community." 
"This proposal jumped over our proposal. It came out of nowhere. I think they were just wrong the way they presented," Simpson said.
He plans to ask councilors to vote it down Monday and have backers return with a new proposal . . . 
Milz appears to be the only person in the local media to bother reporting on the issue to date. The debate has primarily taken place on local blogs and social media. You knew the billboard industry was getting worried when they stooped as low as to engage the egomaniac "opinion for hire" radio talk show host on WIBC to pimp for their cause.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Fox59 News' Liz Gelardi also has a story up now. Councilor Jeff Miller, who discussed his views on the issue on this blog, tells her he plans to vote against it.
. . . “The biggest issue is that the process hasn’t included the public so we have no basis on which to decide if the public wants digital billboards or not,” said Pat Andrews, 
Council Member Jeff Miller said he plans to vote no on the proposal or send it back to committee for further debate.
“I think a lot of people are not even aware this is being discussed and then from there we need to facilitate those meetings for people to come learn about it, give feedback. You know a lot of people have good ideas, small things that can sometimes make a very big difference and that’s why it’s so important that people feel involved in the process,” said Miller.
Councillor Miller said he’s not necessarily against digital billboards he just wants to see more opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and ask questions . . . 
The billboard companies are seeking a delay in the vote previously-scheduled for next Monday night's council meeting.  It looks like the proposal will be sent back to committee.


Anonymous said...

There is a digital billboard in Indianapolis on County Line Road just east of U. S. 31. Try driving on County Line Road at night and the glare from the excessively bright billboard is blinding!

I wonder how they get to have that one???

Hernan Dough said...

Corneal stab, an assault on the eyes, will be an ongoing & upcoming problem...

Anonymous said...

The voters of City County Council District 19 are again treated to their two-faced fence-straddling specialist who hasn’t seen a crony Ballard insider deal he did not like. Proof? Miller admits in plain daylight that he plans to vote no OR send it back to committee (thereafter he will presumably vote yes), he’s not against digital billboards he merely wants more public input (thereafter he will presumably vote yes), he wants you to know that at least you will be involved in the process and have your nay vote heard so you can feel good about yourself (thereafter he will presumably vote yes). It is all right for him to support Ballard crony deals because he's spent so much time thinking about the issues and doing what he thinks is best (presumably voting for pay to play is best to some persons).

Good grief Charlie Brown… now that Jeff Cardwell is off the Council, how would your Councilor know how to vote if it wasn’t for Freeman and Hunter?

Oh, and get ready for the moaning retorts from your guy about "Anonymous" stating views from behind an alias.... as if that's worse than a politician trying to work all sides of an issue in order to support crony pay to play deals.

Anonymous said...

The digital billboard on County Line Road just east of US 31 is most likely in INDOT right-of-way. Digital billboards are permitted on state property. The same rule applies to the digital billboard on Fall Creek Pkwy near Evanston Ave because the billboard is on the State Fairgrounds property.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:04: Get off the sauce and stop guessing, drive down there and see that it is in the City of Indianapolis. Furthermore it is on a CITY street, County Line RD, which by law is property of and maintained by The City of Indianapolis.

Funny how the ignorant throw out their "most likely" guess without investigation....but typical, as well.