Electronic billboard moratorium in Pinellas listen12/01/09 Mark Anderson
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Today, the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners discussed a proposal to put a moratorium on all new electronic signs in Pinellas County. The commission will hold a second public forum on December 15th, prior to voting on the measure.
Some experts are worried that bright flashing electronic signs distract drivers and lead to crashes. The Federal Highway Administration is conducting a study on billboard safety, due in April 2010. Pinellas County administrators have requested a 12 month moratorium on any new electronic signage, until more is understood about risk levels. At todayâ€™s meeting, Commissioner Nancy Bostock objected to including signs at small businesses.
Commissioner Susan Latvala is also concerned about harming small businesses in the county..
Electronic billboards are also an issue in other municipalities. Last month, Tampa settled a long standing dispute with CBS and Clear Channel.
Commissioner Ken Welch is confident that the scope issues can be worked out, and that small businesses will be taken care of.
The signage ordinance will be discussed again at the December 15th Pinellas County Commission meeting.