Electronic Billboards Causing Controversy In Edmond

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014, 11:36 pm
By: News 9

The city of Edmond has called for a special election to keep electronic signs out of city limits. Since February they've been allowed but with strict guidelines.

They're not the same billboards we've seen for years. They're bright. Some are animated, and in the blink of an eye, it's on to the next ad. It is that quick moving, eye catching flashiness that some Edmond residents think would make their city look like sin city. These bright lights are inching closer and closer to Edmond city limits.

"The comment has been made they don't want Edmond to resemble Las Vegas,” City of Edmond Spokesperson Casey Moore said.

Back in February the city voted for the first time ever to allow certain electronic signs within city limits.

"We're talking about a screen where the message can change digitally,” Moore said.

However the approval came with restrictions. The signs have to be within a particular size range, can only change images every 30 seconds as opposed to six to eight seconds like billboards in other cities, and there can't be any movement or animation.

"Currently if you drive around in the Edmond City limits we do not allow any of the signs like you might see at a Sonic, Walgreens or Braum's that you might see in other parts of the metro,” Moore said.

The vote of the city was met with opposition by a group of former Edmond mayors, and since then a petition garnered more than 900 signatures to overturn the city's decision and allow the issue to go before Edmond voters.

Within the 10 months limited signs have been allowed three gas stations and a church have applied with the city to install signs meeting the guidelines set forth by the council.

Those for the signs say banning hinders economic development. Those against it don't want to clutter up the community.

As for voting on the issue, a special election has been set for April 7.