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City Council to Hear Appeal on LED Billboard Conversion

Two area residents have filed appeals of a proposal to change two Benicia billboards to LED billboards.

A plan to convert two Benicia billboards to LED signs has run into opposition after being approved, and the city council is scheduled to decide this week on whether or not to allow the change.

The Benicia Planning Commission on Nov. 29 voted 4-1 to allow Clear Channel Outdoor to convert two vinyl billboards along I-680 to LED billboards that would cycle through various messages. The commission approved a similar project by a 3-2 vote at the same meeting.

The signs are located on city property in the Benicia Industrial Park, and could net the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, Patch reported previously.

But on Dec. 13, Benicia resident Ed Ruszel and Danville resident Craig Andres each filed separate appeals, saying the decision conflicts with Benicia's general plan and signage laws; each also cited what they said was a lack of public discussion or notification of nearby residents.

"The approval is inconsistent with the current sign ordinance," Ruszel wrote. "It gives unfair advantage to one advertiser over other local interests. It ignores the city's general plan to preserve the scenic vistas of the 680 Corridor ... This is a precedent-setting project that will significantly change our environment and open the door for additional LED billboard conversions."

The Benicia City Council will hear the item at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and city staff are recommending the council deny both appeals.

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Robert Livesay January 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM
is lay-off better teacher. Pay attention teacher. Lois was a writer on the Patch and I do believe you have commented on her articles. So Joe pay attention to the road.
David Johnston January 16, 2013 at 03:22 AM
There were two LED signs installed a few months ago at the Martineze anchorage of the Benicia Bridge (west side). The LED signs do offer the advantage of dynamic displays, so at least the advertisement would change each time you drive by (unless you have horrible timing). I THINK the two signs up for ungrade are there by the Public Storage place on Park Rd.
David Johnston January 16, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Agree - I mainly came to the Benicia Patch to read the police blotter. It was better than hearing about shootings in Oaktown or robberies in V-town.
Kathy Loyd January 18, 2013 at 02:46 AM
They are important to local merchants! They are important to our TOWN! Best way to get attention of all the cars that go over the bridge. I have seen them and they are quite impressive. Why not let Benicia have something that will benefit it's own. And I agree why does a Danville resident have a right to appeal something that has nothing to do with his town?! People sure like to have something to complain about but then don't do anything to promote our fair city!
Kathy Loyd January 18, 2013 at 02:49 AM
You should care! More people than you realize go out that way. Advertising what Benicia has is what keeps this town alive.

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