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Billboard proposal hits snag

Posted: March 19, 2014 6:57 p.m.
Updated: March 19, 2014 6:57 p.m.

The California Office of Outdoor Advertising is planning to rescind two preliminary application approvals granted to a consulting company involved with the proposal to construct a digital billboard off Highway 14.

The office cited zoning issues, according to a letter it sent to City Councilman TimBen Boydston.

Sent from Jerone Edwards, the southern area manager for the Office of Outdoor Advertising, the letter says the issue arose from incorrect zoning information provided on the applications for the site, which is located near Oak Springs Canyon Road off Highway 14.

“Currently, we are preparing letters to the applicant to inform them that the preliminary applications approvals will be rescinded, and that the preliminary applications must be denied due to improper zoning,” reads the letter, which is dated Tuesday.

Both permit applications were submitted by Allvision, a consulting firm that has worked with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority regarding a billboard-reduction proposal.

That proposal would remove 62 billboard structures along the Metro right-of-way in the city of Santa Clarita in exchange for the right to build three new double-sided digital billboards off Interstate 5 and Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The issue at the site in question is that the land proposed to house the billboard is currently zoned open space. However, in its applications to the Office of Outdoor Advertising, Allvision indicated the area is zoned business park.

A part of the proposed agreement with Metro would change the zoning of the site from open space to business park. However, since the project has not yet been approved, the zoning change has not taken place.

“This is one of the issues that the council will take up,” said Paul Gonzales, a spokesman for Metro. “So the council will have to decide whether or not to change the zoning of that particular property.”

The letter indicates that Allvision will now have to go through a different application process to obtain the proper permits.

“Preliminary applications must be zoned commercial or industrial in order to be approved,” the letter reads. “A formal application is subsequently required in order for a permit to be granted.”

The City Council is scheduled to again discuss the billboard reduction proposal during the next council meeting on Tuesday.

“In light of this disturbing information, there are questions raised about the wisdom of engaging in a business relationship with a company that would make such a mistake,” Boydston wrote in an email.

Boydston has been a frequent and vocal critic of the billboard proposal.

City spokeswoman Gail Morgan said it is Metro’s responsibility to make sure everything is in order when submitting a proposal.

“All necessary permits for this and all projects are the responsibility of the applicant, which in this case is Metro,” Morgan said.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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