Legal: “Pasco considering easing sign restrictions”

Legal: “Pasco considering easing sign restrictions”

Photo:Orlando Sentinel

“Pasco County, which prohibits digital signs for commercial uses, is poised to ease that restriction.

Kind of. Sort of.

If you own 200 acres or have a 35,000-square-foot building with 2,000 seats or 450 parking spots, you can have a digital sign.

So far, that would be the Pasco County Fairgrounds outside Dade City and the Florida Hospital Center Ice complex in Wesley Chapel.

The county commission is considering amending its sign rules to allow the LED signs that rotate messages for so-called regional attractions, defined as tourist destinations that play host to at least 50 events throughout the year.

The proposed change comes 18 months after the Pasco County Fair Association asked for permission to install a digital sign and a year after the grand opening of the ice center, which used a mobile LED sign company to tout the new complex…

Currently, the county’s land development code bans digital signs that change messages. The rules aren’t applicable to government agencies using a flashing message for a public purpose.

That’s why a few public schools and the Pasco Hernando State College campuses have the brightly lit LED signs.

Commissioner Mike Moore said he wanted the commission to carve out a similar exemption for community development districts as part of the ongoing rewrite of the land development code.

The signs also are visible on businesses in some Pasco cities, including Dade City and Port Richey, which allow the digital signs.

‘I’m good with it,’ said Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, who founded Scenic Pasco and advocated for better sign controls in the county in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Allowing LED signs for regional attractions is the second time the commission has eased its previous hard-line stance on aesthetic controls. Last year, commissioners lifted their ban on all new billboards to allow outdoor advertising companies to swap new LED billboards for traditional signs with static messages…”

— C.T. Bowen, Tampa Bay Times

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Orlando: Council OKs program to swap old billboards for digital ones 

Orlando: Council OKs program to swap old billboards for digital ones 

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

Orlando commissioners Monday OK’d a plan that aims to remove billboards from the city’s neighborhood streets by allowing them to be swapped out for digital signs along major roadways.

The Digital Billboard Exchange Program, approved unanimously by the City Council, will allow companies to build digital billboards along Colonial Drive, Orange Blossom Trail and International Drive, among other main arteries, in exchange for tearing down several traditional billboards in other areas.

The city is specifically targeting 16 billboards in its main street districts such as Mills 50 and College Park. Chief Planner Jason Burton said the program’s goal is to cut back on “visual clutter” and encourage development.

Anti-billboard advocates argued the city could have required the removal of more standard billboards in exchange for each new digital sign, and that digital billboards are distracting to drivers…

‘As we move this city forward into a true metropolitan city my hope is that we do complete exchanges, and the whole city is full of digital boards,’ said Commissioner Regina Hill, who called standard billboards ‘outdated.’

— Orlando Sentinel

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Cape Coral: “2 digital billboards added…”

Cape Coral: “2 digital billboards added…”

Photo: WZVN, ABC 7

“…Cape Coral’s skyline on two major roads is changing forever. For the first time, billboards are showing up in the city.

Last summer, the city voted to build two digital boards, and this week, construction crews went up in the air to put them together.

One billboard is at Veterans Parkway at Del Prado Boulevard while the other is at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge in the southern part of the city.

Residents living near the structures said it felt like they went up overnight.

The digital billboard towering over Veterans Parkway is 75 feet tall and sits right next to a residential street…

Cape Coral city councilors voted in June of 2016 to approve the two projects…

Currently, the city’s sign ordinance doesn’t allow billboards anywhere within city limits. The new structures are an exception to that rule because they will display public information, emergency messages and traffic messages..”

— WZVN, ABC 7

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Country’s oldest billboard: “Buffalo Bill billboard from 1878 restored”

Country’s oldest billboard: “Buffalo Bill billboard from 1878 restored”

Photo: The Associated Press

“An 1878 billboard promoting a ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody stage show has been restored, five years after it was discovered beneath the crumbling brick facade of a former hotel.

The 24-by-10-foot paper billboard had been pasted to an unfinished exterior wall of the hotel during construction 129 years ago and was sandwiched in by brick when the building was completed.

The billboard, a montage of the Wild West folk hero and scenes from his show, was revealed when part of the wall fell away from the building in June 2002.

‘It’s a miracle that it even exists,’ said Dr. Juti Winchester, curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo.

Printed from engraved wood blocks, the billboard resembles a watercolor painting in hues of orange, brown and blue. A multicolor, life-size depiction of the bearded Cody—clad in fringed buckskin and holding a rifle—is of particular importance, said Winchester, who traveled to western New York for Saturday’s unveiling of the finished work…

Crews would put up the billboards to advertise the shows. Most were pasted over when the next show hit town.

‘The only reason this survived was a completely unique set of circumstances,’ said Michael Flaxman, who was involved in the restoration, which was funded by a $52,000 federal grant and matching private donations.

Experts used tissue paper and steam to remove the fragile billboard in strips and shreds from the wood sheathing. Though protected from the elements, the paper had become brittle and torn and some pieces disintegrated before they could be removed.

Paper conservator Laura Schell was hired to piece back together the work, and images of Cody—in one scene atop a horse and swinging his hat overhead—painstakingly emerged.

‘She cleaned and stabilized all these hundreds of pieces of what was a giant, very fragile jigsaw puzzle,’ said Pat Anzideo, the restoration’s project manager. ‘She put it back together again, without the benefit of a picture.’

The billboard will be displayed under glass in six wood-framed panels, each 7 feet high and at least 4 feet wide, at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, a restored 1920s vaudeville and movie house in downtown Jamestown.

–The Associated Press

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