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Three-Month Moratorium on Billboards and Super-Graphics

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Electronic billboard on West 3rd Street

With the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the LA City Council approved a three-month moratorium on billboards and those super-graphics that wrap around buildings yesterday, with the exemption of companies that have already started construction on signs and have received city permits. The LAT reports "The moratorium is intended to give the city time to craft a permanent and coherent billboard policy—or even consider an outright ban on the signs—that could affect all aspects of outdoor advertising in the city, from roadside billboards to televised commercials blaring from pumps at gas stations." If need be, the moratorium can be extended for another three months.

Of course, billboard companies, such as Clear Channel Outdoor, are not happy and "warned the council before the vote that it might take legal action to block the ban." It's not only Clear Channel either: "the city faces more than 25 lawsuits filed by outdoor advertising companies challenging restrictions on the signs."

The city also felt push back from developers and business reps, particularly on the issue of super-graphics, "arguing that the income from those ads was critical to their bottom line."

But the moratorium "received unanimous council approval," and the council expects to see a proposal from the Planning department with "new, comprehensive signage policy for the city, which will regulate all forms of signs, including billboards, super graphics, digital displays and store-front signs," sometime in late-January.
· L.A. council OKs 3-month moratorium on billboards [LAT]