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Santa Clarita Planning Commission recommends billboard proposal

Posted: January 7, 2014 10:52 p.m.
Updated: January 7, 2014 10:52 p.m.

Billboards line the sidewalk along Soledad Canyon Road and Golden Valley Road. A new proposal calls for the removal of 118 signs throughout the city in exchange for the right to build three electronic billboards on city-owned land. Signal photo by Charlie Kaijo.


Members of the Santa Clarita Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend the City Council approve a proposal to work with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to remove many of Santa Clarita’s billboards, even as some advertising companies said the move would damage their businesses.

The commission voted to recommend the City Council approve the proposal, where Metro would remove 118 billboards at 62 locations throughout the city in exchange for the right to build three new, electronic billboards on city-owned land near Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

“The city has been after this for a long time,” said Charles Heffernan, the chairman of the commission.

City officials say the proposal would provide a fiscally responsible way to remove the billboards would eliminate blight along some city roads, including Railroad Avenue and Soledad Canyon Road.

In turn the three new digital billboards — two of which would be built off Highway 14, one in Newhall and one in Canyon Country, and the third of which would be built off Interstate 5 near Magic Mountain Parkway — would provide revenue and advertising possibilities to the city, officials say.

But representatives from some advertising companies, including local business Edwards Outdoor Advertising, said signs they own on Metro property are among those that would be taken down as a result of the agreement and that Metro could remove the billboards without compensating business owners.

This concern was echoed by several commissioners, including Lisa Eichman, who voted against the recommendation.
“I think compensation, fair compensation needs to be done at a minimum,” she said.

But officials said Metro is well within its right to take down the billboards, as it owns the land that houses them.

The commission’s vote Tuesday night moves the proposal forward to the Santa Clarita City Council, which will take up the matter at a later date.
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