On a new proposed billboard legislation

Many on nearby neighborhood listservs are angered by the proposal of a bill that would allow DCGOV to compensate owners of billboards that have been grandfathered in by allowing them to instal “Special Signage” in industrial areas to replace billboards in undesirable or residential areas. I really don’t understand the ire at this proposal. A complementary proposal for Ward 5 specifically outlines the Industrial areas proposed, including Bladensburg Road. This sort of arrangment is what allowed for our billboards at 4th and P St NW to come down. Though the precise agreement is not disclosed, Clear Channel was surely promised the right to put up signs somewhere else more palatable and commercial.

What are folks so angry about?

And see the message below on a hearing to discuss the new legislation, as well as a copy of the bill itself.

2:00 PM, ROOM 123, PUBLIC ROUNDTABLE HEARING, COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES AND CONSUMER AFFIARS, Muriel Bowser, Chairperson

Agenda item:

1.      “Billboard Blight Removal Approval Resolution of 2010”, PR 18-0665.  To approve the proposed rules to amend Chapter 3107A of Title 12A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations for the purpose of authorizing the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to offer Special Signs permits to billboard owners as compensation for the removal of billboards that were in existence as of January 1, 1972, and are contained in the “Authorized List of Billboards, Three-sheet Poster Boards, and Wall Signs”, dated November 30, 1931, as amended through December 31, 1971.

The following is the proposed legislation offered by Mayor Fenty.

1

2

3                                                                                                                                             ___________________________________

4                                                                                                                                             Chairman Vincent C. Gray

5                                                                                                                                             at the request of the Mayor

6

7

8                                                                             A PROPOSED RESOLUTION

9                                                                                             ___________

10

11                                           IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

12

13                                                                           _______________________

14

15        Chairman Vincent C. Gray, at the request of the Mayor, introduced the following resolution,

16           which was referred to the Committee on_______________________________.

17

18           To approve the proposed rules to amend Chapter 3107A of Title 12A of the District of Columbia

19                           Municipal Regulations for the purpose of authorizing the Department of Consumer and

20                           Regulatory Affairs to offer Special Signs permits to billboard owners as compensation for

21                           the removal of billboards that were in existence as of January 1, 1972, and are contained

22                           in the “Authorized List of Billboards, Three-sheet Poster Boards, and Wall Signs,” dated

23                           November 30, 1931, as amended through December 31, 1971.

24

25                           RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this

26           resolution may be cited as the “Billboard Blight Removal Approval Resolution of 2009.”

27                           Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 10 of the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act

28           of 1986 (D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1409(a)), the Council of the District of

29           Columbia approves the amendments to Chapter 3107A of Title 12A of the District of Columbia

30           Municipal Regulations as proposed by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

31                           Sec. 3. The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement contained in the committee report

32           as the fiscal impact statement required by section 603©(3) of the District of Columbia Home

33           Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02©(3)).

34                           Sec. 4. The Secretary of the Council shall transmit a copy of this resolution, upon its

2                     adoption, to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory 1 Affairs.

2                              Sec. 5. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

###

Special Sign Regulations to Address Blight of Old Billboards –Dec 25 2009

DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

The Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, pursuant to the authority set forth in section 10 of the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986, effective March 21, 1987 (D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1409), and Mayor’s Order 09-224, dated December 18, 2009, hereby gives notice of the intent to adopt, in not less than thirty (30) days, amendments to Title 12A, Chapter 3107A, Section 3107.17 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR).

This rulemaking will allow the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to address the significant blight of old billboards in District neighborhoods by offering special sign permits to billboard owners as compensation for the removal of existing billboards. However, DCRA may offer these new special sign permits only for billboards in existence as of January 1, 1972, that are contained in the “Authorized List of Billboards, Three-sheet Poster Boards, and Wall Signs,” dated November 30, 1931, as amended through December 31, 1971. DCRA’s new authority will facilitate the amicable resolution of a current legal dispute, and possibly future legal disputes, over whether DCRA may remove billboards located in or next to residential districts and whether the owner of such billboards may be entitled to compensation for their removal.

This proposed rulemaking supersedes and rescinds the Notice of Emergency and Proposed Rulemaking published in the D.C. Register on December 11, 2009 (56 DCR 9339).

Title 12A, Chapter 3107A, Section 3107.17 of the DCMR is amended as follows:

Section 3107.17.1 is amended to read as follows:

3107.17.1 Definitions. As used in this Section, the following definitions apply:

Special Sign: A sign which meets the standards listed in Section 3107.17.5, that is erected, hung, placed, posted, painted, displayed or maintained on an outdoor or exterior wall or surface of a building pursuant to a Special Sign Permit issued by the Director of the Department. A Special Sign shall only include signs that are erected, hung, placed, painted, displayed or maintained on an outdoor or exterior wall or surface that is not self-standing, except as provided in this Section. A Special Sign shall be:

1.         One of the thirty-two (32) special signs approved by the Director pursuant to the Rules for Special Signs adopted September 22, 2000 (47 D.C. Register 7695 – 7700); or

2.         One of the special signs approved by the Director, pursuant to Special Signs Permits issued in accordance with Section 3107.17.2, as agreed compensation for the removal of existing billboards included in the authorized list referred to in Section 3107.7.6.1.

Exception: The twelve (12) self-standing special signs approvals, existing as of January 1, 2004, shall be allowed to remain and/or be transferred within the area specified in Section 3107.17.7(b); provided that transfers of existing self-standing signs to a new self-standing location are subject to the following additional conditions: (i) that transferred self-standing signs are permitted only as temporary signs for a two (2) year time period beginning on the latter of the dates of issuance of the transfer permit or the date of issuance of the associated building permit for the special sign structure; and (ii) that the location to which the self-standing sign is transferred is a future construction site to be developed in the foreseeable future, as demonstrated by development plans, marketing materials, or ongoing administrative processes to develop the site.  Sign support structures that are either attached to an adjacent building wall or within twelve (12) inches of an adjacent building wall (to ensure that the wall is not damaged) are not considered “self-standing” for the purposes of the special sign regulations.

Call to Action: An explicit, specific or blatant message to consumers from the sponsor that asks consumers to take action by purchasing, using, utilizing or considering the use of a sponsor’s product and/or service, including without limitation providing price or value information (e.g., “affordable” or “5% interest rate available”) and inducements to act (e.g., “one month’s free service when you buy”).

Logo: The symbol, emblem, typeface, or other visual device used by the sponsor to identify itself and to distinguish itself from others in the marketplace.

Permit Holder: The individual or entity who or which holds a Special Sign Permit validly issued and in good standing in accordance with the requirements of this Section and with all other applicable terms and conditions of Chapter 31, and who or which makes such Special Sign available for sponsorship or community service as provided herein.

Sponsor: The entity that contracts with the Permit Holder for the use of a Special Sign to display the Sponsor’s artwork that meets the visual and text standards of Section 3115.4.2.5.

Section 3107.17.12 is amended to read as follows:

3107.17.12 Moratorium on Issuance of Special Signs. No new Special Sign Permits shall be issued after November 9, 2000, other than for changes in artwork pursuant to Section 3107.17.5, for transfers of location pursuant to Section 3107.17.7, or for special signs approved by the Director as agreed compensation for the removal of existing billboards included in the authorized list referred to in Section 3107.7.6.1.

All persons desiring to comment on these proposed regulations should submit comments in writing to Helder Gil, Legislative Affairs Specialist, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 941 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 9500, Washington, D.C. 20002, or via e-mail at helder.gil@dc.gov, not later than thirty (30) days after publication of this notice in the D.C. Register.  Copies of the proposed rules can be obtained from the address listed above.  A copy fee of one dollar ($1.00) will be charged for each copy of the proposed rulemaking requested. Free copies are available on the DCRA website at http://dcra.dc.gov by going to the “DCRA News” link and then clicking on the “Rulemaking” tab.

From: “Robert Vinson Brannum” <rbrannum>
Date: February 15, 2010 9:56:53 PM EST


One thought on “On a new proposed billboard legislation

  1. Clear Channel removed legal signs from our neighborhood that we pressured them to do. They did this with the agreement signed by our Mayor, Peter Nickles and DCRA they would be allowed to put 3 special signs in more commercial areas. Stop the big company bashing and look at the bigger picture. How can a happy Clear Channel help our neighborhood vs. a scorned Clear Channel? I believe we would like to see the lot they own put to good community use? We won the battle, now you want to win the war and shove their noses in it?

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