Kalamazoo Approves New Regulations for Digital Billboards

Digital billboard regulations have been amended to allow for static billboards to be converted to digital

Monday, after a four-hour long city planning meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan, city commissioners voted 6-0 to amend regulations for digital billboards. Adams Outdoor Advertising, the local agency that manages the digital billboards, will have to “go back and reevaluate” the company’s plans after the commission limited the number of digital billboards in the city, said Adams General Manager Jeannine Dodson.

Only seven billboards will be allowed to be converted to digital billboards under the new ordinance. This is one fewer than that recommended by planning commissioners. Digital billboards must be located where static billboards already exist along state roads and must be a minimum of 2,500 feet apart. They must be located in zones designated commercial, light to general manufacturing or in the downtown’s central business district and not within 300 feet of a residentially zoned parcel. These new regulations allow for only seven sites where static billboards may be converted to digital billboards. The distance amendment was proposed by Commissioner Don Cooney “to stop the concentration of these signs in one area of the city.”

Two digital billboards will be displayed along I-94, two along Stadium Drive and two will be allowed downtown; one will also be allowed along West Main Street. The ads on the sign faces are not allowed to change less than every 10 seconds. The original proposal was for every eight seconds. Commissioners at the meeting also removed an exemption that would have allowed a digital billboard near Rose Memorial Park. The Sunrise Rotary Club spoke against it claiming it would detract from the park’s $50,000 lighting system.

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