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Kalamazoo Commissioners could decide Monday night on new regulations for electronic billboards

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The billboard on the Old Peninsula Building in downtown Kalamazoo is said to be the one most likely to be converted if the ordinance passes.
The billboard on the Old Peninsula Building in downtown Kalamazoo is said to be the one most likely to be converted if the ordinance passes.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo City Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing on a new ordinance that would regulate digital billboards in the community.

It’s a controversial issue because it pits many in the business community, who would like to have access to that sort of advertising tool, against those residents who consider such signs to be visual pollution, and would not only like to prevent digital billboards from being erected, but would like to see all billboards removed.

The original proposal was hammered out as a delicate compromise between interested parties by a special task force. It required that the sign companies remove a certain number of static billboards for every digital billboard they erected.

It was altered by the Planning Commission, greatly increasing the number of static billboards that would have to be swapped out for each digital billboard.

There was also a question whether it is permitted to upgrade old billboards with the new technology under current city ordinances, because all billboards are considered non-conforming uses. Kalamazoo's City Attorney says under the new ordinance it would become a conforming use and the old ordinance would not apply. 

It could be a long meeting. 

 

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