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L.A. City Council may postpone billboard vote

May 26, 2009 | 11:19 am

The twisting tale of Los Angeles’ effort to regulate outdoor advertising took a new turn this morning when at least three council members called for the vote on a proposed sign law be delayed until after July 1, when the new city attorney is installed.

Standing on the steps of City Hall, Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the proposed overhaul of the city’s sign rules needs a fresh look by Carmen Trutanich, who won his bid last week to replace City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

That view was echoed minutes later by Council members Janice Hahn and Dennis Zine – as well as Paul Koretz, who is likely to become the next councilman from the 5th District.

“I would certainly like my shot at it,” said Koretz, who, at last count, was 551 votes ahead of his opponent in a district stretching from Cheviot Hills to Encino.

Faced with anger over digital billboards and multi-story supergraphic advertising, the council set in motion an effort last year to overhaul its sign law, which has been the subject of more than a dozen lawsuits.

The draft legislation that comes before the council later today has drawn fire both from neighborhood groups, who think it is too weak, and from business leaders, who think it goes too far. Minutes after Rosendahl spoke, one San Fernando Valley business leader said he would be happy with a delay in the vote.

“The fact is, this has been rushed through,” said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. “It needs to be well thought out and it hasn’t been.”

-- David Zahniser