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Billboard regulations would ban most digitals and restrict supergraphics

March 26, 2009 | 11:12 am

The Los Angeles Planning Commission voted this morning to approve a dramatically reworked billboard law that would ban digital billboards in most parts of the city and place new restrictions on supergraphics -- vinyl signs placed on the sides of buildings.

On a 6-3 vote, the commission forwarded the new sign ordinance to the City Council, which hopes to vote on it by June, when a sign moratorium is set to expire.

The three opponents of the measure were commissioners Michael Woo, Cindy Montanez and Father Spencer Kezios. Last week, all three voiced dismay that the plan provided too many exceptions for new signs. Outdoor advertising companies have used such exceptions to strike down the city’s 2002 billboard ban in court.

Commissioners Sean Burton and William Roschen disagreed, saying the new law would result in a significant reduction in billboards and outdoor signs.

Although the measure would still allow the council to create as many as 21 sign districts in neighborhoods such as Encino, Westwood and Boyle Heights, the commission voted to require that for each new sign erected, another one of equal or greater size would have to be taken down in the surrounding area.

-- Phil Willon

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