(KCPW News) The Salt Lake City Planning Commission wants to ban electronic billboards in the city, as part of the city’s efforts to eventually eliminate billboards altogether. Right now there are six electronic billboards in Salt Lake City, three of which Planning Commission Chairman Michael Fife says the city contends are illegal, because they were erected during an electronic billboard moratorium that was implemented last fall. He says billboards are not something the city wants to promote.
“Salt Lake City is known for outdoor recreation and the arts and the LDS church and not for billboards,” he says. “And electronic billboards add additional value to the billboards already in place and make it even more difficult to get rid of them, so I don’t think that we need to enhance the value of the billboards that are currently in place.”
Fife says the moratorium ends next month, so a decision must be made soon.
Jared Johnson with YESCO Outdoor Media says electronic billboards are a small but growing part of his company’s business, and the city isn’t leaving any room for compromise.
“They display static images.” Johnson says. “They don’t have any animation or any flashing or changing of lights; they just rotate through still images of advertisements, and it’s hard to discuss the self-regulation and the proposals that we have when some at the government level would like to eliminate all the signs. It puts us in a difficult position.”
Johnson says there have been no public concerns raised about electronic billboards.