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City Council to take up billboard issue

Posted: February 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A controversial proposal to remove many of the billboards in Santa Clarita will be discussed Tuesday during a public hearing in front of the Santa Clarita City Council.

The proposal, which comes from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, would remove 118 billboards on 62 structures throughout Santa Clarita in exchange for the right to build three electronic billboards near Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

City officials say the proposal would fulfill a long-held goal and beautify some of the city’s corridors, including along Railroad Avenue and Soledad Canyon Road.

Some have criticized the proposal because it would entail construction of the electronic billboards — one located near the intersection of Interstate 5 and Magic Mountain Parkway, and two off Highway 14, one in Newhall and one in Canyon Country, according to the proposal.

“The three new digital billboard sign faces that would be added are each 14 feet tall and 48 feet wide and are double-sided covering 4,032 square feet,” reads a city fact sheet on the proposal. “Pole height for each of the three signs would vary between 54 feet and 64 feet tall.”

City officials say the deal would mean an estimated $450,000 to $600,000 in revenue for the city as rent for the new billboards.

Some opponents of the proposal include billboard companies, which currently lease land from Metro to house their billboard structures, and some local business owners who have said removing the boards would take away an effective advertising tool.

Part of Tuesday’s discussion will include a closed session conference between the city and Edwards Outdoor Advertising, a local billboard company.

That meeting entails discussion about “46 billboard structures and associated lease rights located along Newhall Avenue, Railroad Avenue, Bouquet Canyon Road, Soledad Canyon Road, Sand Canyon Road and Sierra Highway,” according to the City Council’s closed session agenda.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. in Valencia.


ricketzz: Posted: February 23, 2014 6:57 a.m.

Will Edwards be offered a deal they can't refuse? This reeks of smoky backrooms.

lars1: Posted: February 23, 2014 10:33 a.m.

"public hearing" this is just another city joke!
They have been bought off. They have already made up their minds.
Just another, we dont care what the public wants, we do whatever we want.

We really dont have an open and honest city and city council.

See the Metro representative Kellars comment in the Signal.

cj64: Posted: February 23, 2014 12:19 p.m.

This is an open and honest letter to Julie Edwards.

You and your family have been very honest and a big supporter of not only small business in Santa Clarita, but also all of its citizens. You have provided an affordable means for small business to grow, and public service announcements delivered to the local public.

The city is not transparent on city decisions. They do things back door, out of the public scrutiny. The ignore public input, and have already made their decision. Here is the jist of what is going to happen in the "closed door" session. You will be given two choices.
First choice, your billboard business will be taken over by the city through "emminent domain", without any reimbursement.
Second choice, the city will reimburse you if you give up your billboard business to the city for a set amount of money.
This is how the city operates, they buy people off.
Also, you will be prohibited from discussing anything that went on behind this "closed session".
In addition, the only city council member who is not bought off and does represent the citizens, Tim Ben, will also be prohibited from discussing what went on behind this "closed door" session.

Julie, if you "sell out", you also sell out the small business and public that has supported you and your family all these years.

bbcalvin: Posted: February 23, 2014 5:35 p.m.

cj64: First choice is not an option because Metro, another public agency, owns the land.

chefgirl358: Posted: February 23, 2014 7:07 p.m.

I'm going to be at this meeting and complain as much as possible about the Vegas strip eyesore these hideous digital billboards create. They'll probably go ahead with them anyway just like every other stupid decision they've made against public opinion, but at least if you speak up you can say you did what you could.

ohhyaa: Posted: February 24, 2014 6:59 a.m.

chefgirl, Thank you. I know you will represent the majority well. Since we are in an election year, they might temporarily listen.

dontgetit: Posted: February 25, 2014 6:19 p.m.

so let me get this straight...4 electronic signs TOTAL along the entire stretch of freeway corridors of the 5 and the 14 make us look like Vegas???

The existing signs in question look horrible and are usually sun faded and dusty because they are in such low demand...

The City is going to pay the Edwards family...when quite frankly THEY DON'T HAVE TO...and yet all you can do is attack the council. They can't win in this issue. It is going to happen. MTA wants the billboards gone...they own the land. Its that simple. The Edwards should consider themselves LUCKY to be getting money.

and you think that $600,000 of found revenue to the City is NOTHING?!?! Calculated over 10 years is over 6 million in revenue to the City! How would you propose the City find that revenue elsewhere???

and yes..this deal is it should be, but please--by all means--- waste hours at the council meeting looking foolish with no valid arguments...

I just don't get it!

samed: Posted: February 25, 2014 8:34 p.m.

The city is boought off by big business and developers. People are wising up to the bozo decisions they have made. Backin parking in Newhall, single lane on Decoro, the monstrosity library, the roundabout and stupid worm/bugzapper art projects have put a big negative impression on out city government and city council. This is sealed by selling out small business for ugly electronic billboards.

The city officials are not w-h-o-r-e-s. They do not have to get $600,000 of found revenue by selling out our community.

The handout to the wealthy farmers of Ventura of hundreds to thousands of dollars of our property taxes has solidified the belief that our city only supports big business and developers. The Amgen Bike race only supports big business and developers only. The citizens and small business are not getting any service from our bought off city governmnet and city council.

I cant wait till the election in April when we get rid of the liars and thieves.

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