Reprinted with permission from "La Mesa Fights Back Against Digital Billboards" by Scenic America.
On July 25, the City Council of La Mesa, California, took a significant stand against the installation of dual-sided digital billboards adjacent to Interstate 8 near the interchange with State Route 125. The proposed project by outdoor advertiser Clear Channel Outdoor faced strong opposition from councilmembers and the public alike, resulting in a three-to-two vote against proceeding with the plan.
La Mesa activists, Scenic America, and Scenic San Diego mobilized a grassroots advocacy effort in the days leading up to the vote. This effort resulted in a strong showing of opposition, which ultimately led to the City Council’s three-to-two vote to kill the proposal.
The City Attorney's new legal analysis of a proposal to allow as many as 79 digital billboards and other types of currently banned outdoor, off-site advertising was released on April 2, 2013 and is due to be discussed at a hearing of the San Diego City Council’s Land Use & Housing Committee’s in Spring 2013. The exact date has not been announced but it is tentatively expected to be heard at the committee meeting on May 22, 2013. The committee meets at 2 p.m. in the City Council Committee Room, 12th Floor, City Administration Building at 202 C Street, San Diego, CA 92101.
On Monday, March 11, 2013 the San Diego City Council heard and denied University City resident Linda Colley's appeal challenging a City staff finding that new freeway-sized, lighted billboards recently installed at Westfield UTC had no environmental impact. For the first time in decades, developers have been permitted to erect new billboard like outdoor advertising signs, seriously eroding the City's 30-year ban on new billboards. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner motioned to continue the matter due to newly discovered information indicating City staff had incomplete information on the existing signage at the property, but the motion failed. Billboard proponents argued that allowing the new signs amounted to a serious erosion of the City's 30-year ban on any new billboards.
Scenic San Diego is an all-volunteer coalition of concerned citizens and organizations who favor strong sign ordinances and oppose billboards and other advertising sign proliferation.