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Scenic St. Petersburg

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Digital Billboards

City Council Approves Revised Ordinance and Agreement Allowing Digital Billboards

August 16, 2012: ST. PETERSBURG — After more than two hours of staff presentations, public comment and discussion the City Council approved a revised ordinance and agreement that will allow digital billboards within the city limits of St. Petersburg.

In the opinion of Scenic St. Petersburg the net effect of this decision is to simply trade one form of visual blight (static billboards) for another (digital billboards), which are viewed by many as more intrusive, distracting, and demeaning to our city's image.  However, the result could have been much worse.

Thanks to the public's involvement in the decision making process the following changes were made to the ordinance and agreement with Clear Channel between the time the concept first surfaced in the fall of 2009 and Thursday's Council approval:

  • Reduced the number of sign faces being removed from a net of 100 to a net of 83
  • Reduced the number of digital faces from 10 to 6
  • Limited placement of digital faces to the Interstate and feeders (previous eligible locations included 34th St, Tyrone, Roosevelt and Gandy)
  • Increased the swap ratio from 10:1 to 13.8 static faces per digital face
  • Added minimum 500’ buffer from residentially zoned and historic designated properties
  • Required that all 83 faces / 41 structures be removed before permitting the first digital face
  • Deleted the Relocation, Repair, and Rebuild rights that CC attorneys had included in the agreement
  • Added luminance limits and a requirement that signs have a ‘full black’ failure mode
  • Required that CC fund equipment and training required to measure luminance
  • Added requirement that digital signs conform to any future federal / state regulations
  • Added language limiting CC’s ability to reinstall removed signs if the ordinance is declared invalid
  • Added language requiring CC to provide ‘slots’ for advertising of city and civic events
  • Provided for fines for violation of the ordinance
  • Required that static sign structures be removed as well as sign faces
  • Added revenue sharing provision that city will receive $50K per year or 15% of revenue – whichever is greater – for their lease of two parcels.
  • Provided for a 20-year ‘sunset’ for the digital signs
  • Required shielding / buffering of digital signs within view of residential buildings
  • Required relocation of the proposed Jordan Park digital sign (language says voluntary – so this may or may not happen)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to let your elected representatives know your thoughts on the digital billboard subject.

Digital Billboards Again on the City Council Agenda

June 22, 2012: ST. PETERSBURG — In May Clear Channel Outdoor quietly filed an application with the City of St. Petersburg to change the city's sign code to allow digital billboards.  Their payment of a $1000.00 “private application” fee allows them to have an expedited hearing before the Development Review Commission (DRC) and the City Council.

On June 6th the DRC voted unanimously to approve Clear Channel's proposal. On June 21st the City Council voted to send the proposal to the Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee for more discourse. This proposal is very much the same as the one from last August with a few minor changes. The revised agreement with Clear Channel:

1) Calls for Clear Channel to remove eighty static billboard faces (41 structures) before erecting the first of six digital billboards.
2) Provides for a so-called “sunset” of the digital signs – after 20 years they would have to be removed or converted back to static sign faces.
3) Provides for a payment to the City of St. Petersburg of $50,000 or 12.5% of revenue - whichever is greater - for their lease of two digital billboard locations.

Note that the Federal Highway Transportation Safety Study has NOT been completed and the city has still NOT done a comprehensive review of the sign code, which were the two tenants our community supported last year when the Council voted against allowing digital billboards.

Many city residents are against digital billboards under any conditions, and they have much support for this stand, however, there are a few loud voices who are pushing this agreement. They think this is a good deal for our unique and beautiful city, and they are working diligently with Clear Channel to make it happen.

If you want to keep St. Petersburg unique, it is time to let your voices be heard. The community should be the ones to decide how our future looks, NOT Clear Channel.

TIME IS THE ESSENCE
Upcoming Hearings:

July 12 – 6:00 PM PS&I Committee (Room 100, City Hall)
August 16 – 6:00 PM 2nd Public Hearing AND VOTE (Council Chambers)

Here is a link for you to register a response with the City Council against this proposal.  Tell your elected representatives that "NO" still means "NO" and that this is not a good deal for Midtown, where 50% of the digital billboards will be placed!   And ask your friends and neighbors to also let their voices be heard.

For more on why digital billboards would have a negative impact on our city, watch the informative videos from BlightFighers.org here.

Blightfighters

Clear Channel Tries Again on Digital Billboards

APRIL 30, 2012: ST. PETERSBURG — With no fanfare, Clear Channel has once again submitted an application to the City of St. Petersburg to amend our local sign ordinance to permit digital billboards.  Buried deep within the workshop materials for the May 3rd, 2012 sign code workshop is the following paragraph:

Digital Billboards
Although digital billboards are governed by the Sign Code, the material for this workshop was not intended to re-address the issue of digital billboards. However, staff has recently received an application from Clear Channel Outdoor, along with an application fee, to amend the City Code to permit digital billboards. The application is currently scheduled to be considered by the Development Review Commission at their June meeting. At this time, staff anticipates the application will then come before City Council for two (2) public hearings in June and July.

A copy of the May 3rd Council Sign Code Workshop Material is available here.

A copy of the City Staff Report (for the DRC meeting on June 6, 2012) is available here.

May 3rd Sign Code Workshop Scheduled

May 2, 2012: ST. PETERSBURG — The purpose of the May 3, 2012 City Council sign workshop is for staff to present to Council a series of proposed amendments to the sign regulations which have resulted from all the previous workshop discussions. If City Council supports the proposed amendments, staff will engage in further discussion with stakeholders to refine any serious issues prior to taking the amendments through the Land Development Regulation (LDR) amendment process.

Among other significant changes, the proposed amendments would:

A copy of the May 3rd Workshop Material is available here.

St. Petersburg to Review Sign Code

ST. PETERSBURG — A week after the City Council rejected a controversial deal that would have allowed digital billboards, the eight-member board has embarked on overhauling rules that regulate all other signs. During a Thursday Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee workshop, the council discussed ways to go about changing the laws that govern hand-held signs that businesses use to advertise, homeowner association meeting signs, sandwich board signs on sidewalks, and new digital signs called electronic message centers that scroll ads or announcements. "I'm encouraged to see council broaden its scope to look at the entire ordinance," said Travis Jarman, a neighborhood leader who helped lead the fight to reject a deal to allow six digital billboards in exchange for removing 80 traditional signs.  (News Courtesy St. Petersburg Times)

A copy of the Council Presentation is available online.

During the meeting city staff compared St. Petersburg's sign regulations to those of a number of other Florida cities.  In some cases St. Petersburg is more restrictive of on-premise signs than cities such as Tampa, but of particular note was the discovery that Clearwater and Gainesville, among others, do not permit Electronic Message Center (EMC) signs at all.  In the city there are currently 54 EMC signs, most of which have been cited for violation of our existing ordinance.  Singled out for comment was the city's own EMC sign at Sunken Gardens, which as of the meeting date was in violation of the city's sign code because it displays animation.

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During the discussion it was clear that several Council members (Nurse, Kennedy, Curran) seemed to favor an outright ban on new EMC signs, with retroactive restrictions to be added to existing EMC signs.  Karl Nurse said “Think of our city with 100 times as many of these signs – we need to shut the door”.  This position had the support of city staff and a seeming majority of the Council members.

Other staff-suggested changes to the sign code include prohibiting conversion of existing signs to EMC signs; this change has been put into effect immediately by administrative policy.  Additionally, staff recommends changing the non-conforming sign relocation and repair provision, which currently allows modification of existing signs as long as the total cost of such modifications does not exceed 25% of the replacement value of the sign.  The staff recommendation is to make this a cumulative provision, so as to prevent serial modifications (25% at a time) of non-conforming signs.

Further changes for suggested by staff include (click here for details):

The Committee asked staff to schedule a Council workshop on this subject so that all Council members can participate in the discussion.  That workshop will take place in late September or early October.

Have an opinion about St. Petersburg's proposed changes to the sign code?  Let your Council members and Mayor know by clicking on the Take Action link.

Update: August 19, 2011 - Digital Billboard Ordinance Defeated 5:3

Just after midnight, after hours of testimony from many citizens and business leaders the St. Petersburg City Council rejected the digital billboard ordinance.

At the stroke of midnight the vote was:

Danner - yes
Polson - no
Kornell - no
Dudley - yes
Curran - yes
Kennedy - no
Nurse - no
Newton - no

It is unfortunate that this proposal got as far as it did in its final form.  If CONA and other community and scenic groups had been given the same opportunity as the billboard industry to meet face to face with the entire Council early on a lot of energy could have been saved and divisiveness prevented. 

Local scenic advocates remain committed to removing billboard blight throughout the city in a timely manner,.  It is hoped that Mayor Foster and the Council as a whole will make this a priority.  Some Council members did commit tonight to dealing with billboard blight and other signage issues in a comprehensive manner and this should be supported.

Please thank your Council Member for their work by clicking on the Take Action link.

August 15, 2011 - Clear Channel Blinks, CBS Pulls Out

After a week of discussions between city staff and the billboard industry, a revised ordinance and agreement has emerged.  In the process, CBS Outdoor has dropped out of the discussions.  It is not clear what the withdrawal of CBS means in terms of the final outcome.

Regarding the much-discussed "sunset provision", Clear Channel has offered to remove any installed digital billboards after the expiration of a 20-year agreement, BUT they be allowed to replace them with static signs.  Twenty years is a long time, and in any case returning to the status quo would not achieve the goal of eliminating ALL billboards from the city over time.  Other concessions in the agreement are minor and do not moderate concerns of scenic advocates about the aesthetic and safety risks of digital signs.

The second public hearing will be held at 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 18, at 6:00 PM, at City Hall.  If you have an opinion about allowing digital billboards in St. Petersburg, please plan to attend.  Additionally, you may send your thoughts to your elected representatives by clicking on Take Action

August 4, 2011 - City Council becoming increasingly uncomfortable with 'swap deal'

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About two dozen concerned citizens showed up for today's City Council hearing.  A number of other neighborhood association and community leaders (including the League of Women Voters, Agenda 2010, Sierra Club, Public Services Union, etc.) turned out and otherwise supported CONA's position to continue the current sign ordinance, including the ban on digital billboards and virtual ban on most other billboards, pending a comprehensive review of the entire sign ordinance and completion of the related federal highway safety study. 

Most City Council Persons expressed at least significant concerns regarding the way the pending ordinance and agreements have been written.  It was noteworthy that on a procedural vote today to simply schedule a second hearing, three Council Members voted "no" on having a second hearing (Steve Kornell, Karl Nurse, and Jim Kennedy).  Note that voting to schedule a hearing does not mean that a Council Member will actually vote for the proposal, it is a simple procedural motion traditionally used by Council.

One City Council Member said after the hearing that it was the best community grass roots presentation he had ever seen.  This was the first public hearing.  The second public hearing will be held at 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 18, at 6:00 PM, at City Hall.  If you have an opinion about allowing digital billboards in St. Petersburg, please plan to attend. 

If you have not yet gone on record with the Council you may send your thoughts to your elected representatives by clicking on Take Action

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July 21, 2011 -- City Council Knows Best?

In a scene one could imagine being played out on TV in the 1950's, a number of City Council members are saying "Council knows best" when it comes to allowing digital billboards in St. Petersburg. Council members are ignoring hundreds of citizen emails protesting the proposed ordinance, saying that "it is a good deal for the city".

Council members who are promoting the digital deal do not appear to grasp the impact of having nine signs along the gateway to our city, each blaring out a commercial message every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and how this will dramatically change the uniqueness of St. Petersburg for many generations to come. In case you are wondering, that is 8,460 advertisements per sign per day, or more than 31 MILLION images per year. Once these signs are permitted they will become a vested right of the billboard companies and they will be with us forever; there will be NO opportunity for reconsideration and no alternative for removal.

Rather than allowing digital billboards, the City should keep our current defacto billboard ban in place. Just such an approach is being supported by several local organizations including the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Florida Public Services Union, and PACT.  CONA and others also believe that the city should develop a plan to remove ALL billboards over time.

If you feel as others across our country that adding billboards that are 14 feet high and 48 feet long 100 feet in the air, that change advertisements every 10 seconds and operate 24 x 7 x 365, are at best a blight on our landscape and at worst yet another driver distraction, please act before August 4th and let your representatives know how you feel.

IMPORTANT: To have any hope of preventing approval of these signs people need to turn out in force at the two Council meetings in August where Council will vote on the ordinance. All meetings will be held in Council chambers at City Hall.

Council Meeting - first reading and public comment: Thursday, August 4th, 9:00 AM
Council Meeting - second reading, public comment, vote: Thursday, August 18th, 6:00 PM

You can also register your opinion with the City Council by clicking on the TAKE ACTION link and / or by attending the upcoming meetings at City Hall. EVERY EMAIL COUNTS so let your voice be heard today.

July 08, 2011 -- Digital Billboard Proposal gets OK from Development Review Commission

Representatives from approximately six neighborhood associations attended the July 6th DRC hearing and spoke against the proposal  The Commission was being asked to address a narrow question of whether the Digital Billboard proposal was in compliance with the city's Comprehensive Plan.  Despite objections from every neighborhood present, the Commission did find the proposal in compliance.  Two commissioners dissented, but offered no opinion on the overall merit of the proposal. 

The proposal now goes to the City Council for consideration.  The next step will be a public hearing at City Hall on Thursday, August 4th at 9AM.  You can register your opinion with the City Council by clicking on the TAKE ACTION link and / or by attending the August 4th meeting at City Hall.

Click here for maps of the city's billboards, those proposed to be removed, and proposed new digital locations.

Click here for the most recent version of the proposed digital billboard ordinance and agreements with Clear Channel and CBS.

Click here for the most recent version of the CONA Land Development Committee's "Talking Points" on digital billboards.

NEWS: St. Petersburg to restart hearings on digital billboard ordinance

May 18, 2011

The City of St. Petersburg has restarted action on an ordinance that would permit digital billboards along our major highways.

This item is scheduled for the city's PS&I Council Committee on June 9th (at 9:15 AM, Room 100), the Development Review Commission (DRC) on July 6, followed by a City Council hearing and first reading at 9 AM on Thursday, August 4th, with a second public reading before City Council at 6 PM on Thursday, August 18th. The DRC and City Council meetings are public hearings where comments will be solicited.

NEWS: Billboard Industry, City at impass over digital billboard ordinance

ST. PETERSBURG — The City of St. Petersburg has postponed further action on an ordinance that would permit digital billboards along our major highways, citing disagreements over the wording of a proposed sign ordinance and a "line in the sand" that neither party is willing to cross.

The city staff had attempted to build some protection into the ordinance and agreements but those protections weren't acceptable to the billboard industry.  Negotiations are expected to resume, but the outcome of the discussions are uncertain.

At the moment there are no further public meetings scheduled on this subject.  Check back often for updates, and don't forget to let your Mayor and Council members know how you feel about permitting digital billboards in our beautiful city.

NEWS: St. Petersburg council member upset over 'rude' neighborhood newsletter

ST. PETERSBURG — A crude expression in a civic newsletter has touched off a feud between a prominent neighborhood group and City Council member Jeff Danner.

The June newsletter for the Council of Neighborhood Associations of South Pinellas County included a column (See "Billlboard Industry 3, CONA 0", below) penned by Travis Jarman that blasted the city for holding workshops with the billboard industry.

More from the St. Petersburg Times

Howard Troxler Weighs In

NEWS: Billboard Industry 3, CONA 0

In the continuing discussion about the future of St. Petersburg's urban landscape, the billboard industry is winning.

At the third city Council workshop since December, city staff presented a moderate proposal that would allow eight digital billboards within 100 feet of major highways such as the Interstate, Interstate Feeders, U.S. 19, Gandy Blvd, and Roosevelt Blvd.  Staff recommended keeping the city's current 25 foot height limit and placed restrictions on the brightness of these signs, as recommended by safety experts.

But this wasn't good enough for the billboard industry.  They wanted higher height limits - and to be allowed to convert existing structures to digital at their grandfathered heights, some of which exceed 80 feet.  And they wanted them brighter.

City Council members were more than happy to oblige.  Without any significant discussion, they bent over for representatives of Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor, giving them what they wanted: Higher and brighter signs.

While Clear Channel and CBS representatives had the ear of Council for more than an hour, CONA representatives at the meeting were once again shut out of the discussion and were not invited to speak.

When asked by the St. Petersburg Times why the public wasn't allowed to speak, Mayor Bill Foster said "We've been working with Clear Channel because this is a contract," Foster said. "They have to be at the table. If I can get rid of 10 static billboards for every one digital billboard that goes up? That's something I want."

Quite a flip-flop from Mayor Foster's campaign rhetoric, where he said he "hate's these signs" and assured CONA representatives that he would support keeping them out of St. Petersburg.

Digital billboards, brought to you by your elected representatives, may be coming soon to a highway near you.

NEWS: Council of Neighborhood Associations Affirms Position on Digital Billboards

The C.O.N.A. Board has given due consideration to the February 25, 2010 draft proposal to swap out non-conforming static billboards for eight new digital billboards within the City, receiving presentations from C.O.N.A.’s Land Development and Historic Preservation Committee and Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.

After hearing from both parties and allowing for Q&A and discussion the CONA Board reaffirmed it's previous position AGAINST the city’s adoption of the proposal at this time due to concerns over safety, impact on the city's image, environmental downsides, and economic and legal risks.

READ the full report of the C.O.N.A. Land Development and Historic Resources Committee.

NEWS: City Council falls for "Rope A Dope" trick

In a disappointing decision, on February 25th the St. Petersburg City Council agreed to move forward with negotiations to allow digital billboards in our city.

At their afternoon workshop the Council was swayed by arguments from the billboard industry and the city's own legal staff.  The Council accepted the idea that the city needs to approve an agreement with Clear Channel because "the state may swoop in with legislation that will take away the city's ability to regulate billboards".  This, in spite of the fact that NO SUCH LEGISLATION IS ON THE HORIZON AT THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE.  Sadly, this tactic is just another page taken directly from the industry's Rope-A-Dope playbook.  Adding insult to injury, while three Clear Channel representatives were permitted to make presentations, C.O.N.A. representatives were not invited to speak.

The billboard industry continues to promote the idea that a 'ten-for-one' swap deal is a good thing for the city, because, well, all those ugly little billboards around town will disappear.  City staff bravely showed an updated inventory demonstrating that 22% of the non-conforming billboards existing in 2002 have been removed. Council didn't seem to be able to grasp the idea that at this rate the remaining non-conforming boards might be gone entirely in 20 years or so.  Instead, the Council is contemplating approving installation of digital billboards that will be blasting out commercial messages along our highways for generations to come.

Last month the city staff did their own inventory of billboards across the city and caught Clear Channel with an inflated inventory of signs to be removed.  Instead of 144 signs, it turns out they only have 132, some of which may be illegal.  In any case they have been forced to scale down their removal schedule, and are now proposing removing 80 signs in return for installing eight digital billboards.  This is a net reduction of 72 boards, or a "nine-for-one" swap, compared to their previous proposal of removing 110 signs in exchange for installing ten digital, or a true "ten-for-one" ratio.  Apparently Council members weren't paying close enough attention in math class, because they accepted the Clear Channel statement that this was 'still a ten-for-one' deal.

There were a few positive workshop highlights: Mayor Bill Foster was forthright in his feelings about digital signs, saying "I have a personal distaste for them".  Council member Herb Polson commented on sign pollution throughout the city and expressed his concern that the proposed ordinance was 'a piecemeal solution'.  Polson attempted to introduce a motion supporting a comprehensive review of the city's sign code, an idea strongly supported by C.O.N.A. and the Mayor and at least one other Council member.  However, Council chair Leslie Curran dismissed Polson's motion, ruling that such an idea should be considered separately from approving the digital billboard ordinance.  Say WHAT?

Council directed city staff to bring the final draft of the revised ordinance and Clear Channel agreement back to Council within three months.

In the upcoming months the citizens of St. Petersburg are going to have to decide whether they want to block this oncoming digital train wreck, or let it run over them.  The City Council is the decision maker, so if you have an opinion about this issue THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD.  Click on Take Action and let your elected representatives know what you think.

NEWS: Video: Neighborhoods put brakes on sign deal

ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg's Council of Neighborhood Associations made City Council think twice about a billboard deal cut by Mayor Rick Baker. The council decided to delay action until sometime next year while more details are worked out.

Baker leaves office January 2, but says he understands.

"Actually it's kind of an evolving picture," the mayor admitted after a council workshop. "It has to be done in a deliberate manner and I'm OK with that."

Clear Channel Outdoor says it will remove 100 smaller, outdated billboards in exchange for converting 10 larger billboards to much more profitable digital displays. But CONA reacted with a barrage of questions, some of which caused some quick rewrites of a proposed contract and ordinance. (More in Video: above).

NEWS: Media: St. Petersburg City Council delays vote on Clear Channel billboard deal

ST. PETERSBURG — The message on today's proverbial billboard: We need more time.

The City Council decided Thursday to postpone a decision on Mayor Rick Baker's plan to allow Clear Channel Outdoor to replace 110 billboards in the city with 10 digital ones.

The deal isn't likely to surface again until February, after Baker's term has ended. Mayor-elect Bill Foster takes office Jan. 2.

The council was scheduled to vote on the deal next week. But questions surfaced about location, height, spacing of signs, transition times, safety and what an ordinance change might mean for the future. Presented with everything, two city committees gave the proposal a thumbs down. Dozens of citizens e-mailed objections.

The council sorted through it all at a workshop Thursday with the mayor, the Council Of Neighborhood Associations and billboard representatives.

"I like the idea of trading off the billboards and getting rid of them," council member Jim Kennedy said. "But I'm very much concerned about going against unanimous recommendations from (the committees)."

In the end, council members decided they needed more information. (More in Media: above)

Planning and Visioning Commission votes 7-0:
"Come back with an ordinance when you have something ready for review and public comment".

The Planning & Visioning Commission held a public hearing to gather input (pro and con) on Tuesday, December 8th regarding the proposed ordinance change that would allow digital billboards in the city of St. Petersburg.  After comments from the public, presentations from C.O.N.A. and Clear Channel Outdooor the PVC voted UNANIMOUSLY to recommend to Council that city staff come back to the Development Review Commission and the Planning & Visioning Commision "when there was an ordinance that is ready for review and public comment".

This is the third negative vote on the ordinance from the Mayor's own appointees.  You'd think that the administration would see the writing on the wall.

Media: Troxler: Another Troubling Question

Media: Troxler: Plug the Loopholes

Video: Debate Intensifies over Digital Billboards

DRC says Digital Billboards would violate City's Comprehensive Plan

The City's Development Review Commission met on December 2nd and on a vote of 5-2 found that the proposed change to the city's sign ordinance allowing digital billboards was NOT congruent with the city's comprehensive plan.  Subsequently they took a vote on the 'policy question' of whether the ordinance change should be approved and on that voted 7-0 to recommend to City Council that they delay adoption of any ordinance changes until after the Federal Highway safety study is completed in 2010.

While both of these votes are advisory City Council members should honor the recommendations of the Mayor's own advisory committee - and those of 118 neighborhood associations that C.O.N.A. represents.  There is no need to rush into these changes when there are so many unanswered questions about safety.  After all, when you've been working on something for almost three years what is another six months or so?

Media: Tampa Residents Say "No" to Digital Billboards

St. Petersburg Neighborhoods Vote "NO" on Digital Billboards

The St. Petersburg Council of Neighborhood Associations, which represents 118 neighborhoods across the city, voted unanimously on November 18th to ask City Council to defer any action on this proposal until after the Federal Highway safety study is released next year.

Here is the complete text of the C.O.N.A. letter to Council. 

Media: Pinellas slaps moratorium on new digital billboards

St. Petersburg: Mayor Gets Conned into Bad Deal by Classic "Rope a Dope" Trick

Our Mayor didn't bother to involve his knowledgeable city staff members or even the public in his recent discussions with Clear Channel, and as a result he got conned.

Many city and county officials around the country have long and often expensive experiences with the tactics of the billboard industry. A high degree of due diligence is required when considering "too good to be true" agreements with large, out of town business interests. Many communities bring in specialty legal teams for negotiating with billboard companies due to the history of extraordinary levels of litigation and the potential impact on road and highway funding.  But the Mayor and his Development Services department head went it alone!

Millions of dollars are at stake, because once we give Clear Channel digital billboards, other sign companies will sue to get their piece of the "new business". The Mayor has fallen for the oldest trick in Clear Channel's book - ROPE A DOPE! Now we must clean up his mistake, BEFORE it's too late and millions of dollars of taxpayer funds end up down the drain.

Read all about it.

What's the Hurry?

Who Wrote St. Petersburg's Proposed Sign Ordinance?

Read this document and compare the wording provided by the Clear Channel Attorney to Tampa with the wording of St. Petersburg's proposed sign ordinance.  Decide for yourself.

Clear Channel Executive Slips Up

Tells the Rest of the Story to Pinellas County Commissioners: Oooops!

The revised St. Petersburg sign ordinance would open the door to new billboards, which are currently banned!

After admitting that most of the boards to be removed as part of the deal with the St. Pete Mayor were actually on secondary roads and nearing end of life at 30-40 years, Tom O'Neil, VP Clear Channel then said:

"...We would consider St. Pete a defacto ban. We had no ability to upgrade, no ability to increase height, no ability to relocate. So in a sense, we traded secondary locations for a sign ordinance.  Half the deal was to get a sign ordinance that would allow us some movement and the other half was digital."

Hear it for yourself:

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Learn about Digital Billboards by going here to the St. Pete Educational Page and then take action.