Billboards May "Light Up" Culver City
But Can You See Them From Space Station?
By Stephen Hadland
New digital billboards one of the busiest stretches of freeway in the nation, due to a proposal being considered by Culver City.
The proposal presented to Culver City several weeks ago calls for a full-size, double-sided digital billboard on the west side of the 405 Freeway where it crosses Sepulveda Blvd. Another full-size, single-sided digital billboard would be placed at the heavily-trafficked intersection of Sepulveda Blvd. and Centinela Ave. just a short distance from the freeway and visible to motorists on the freeway that carries some 300,000 vehicles per day with ads that change faster than your head can spin remain turned off by court order. Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor, the two companies that own those billboards, have been pressuring smaller cities like Culver City to allow digital billboards in their jurisdictions.
The city council appears to be lukewarm on the proposal requiring those proposing the billboards pay to cost of a fully study and the cost of analysing the study. The cost is estimated to be in the $400,000 range.
According to Dennis Hathaway, President of the Ban Billboard Blight coalition said the proposal put forward by The Carlyle Group, a multi-billion dollar company that owns commercial properties in the area including The Doubletree By Hilton Hotel, also calls for a double-sided digital billboard on Centinela Ave. about one-quarter mile west of the freeway, two double sided static billboards nearby on the same street, and a wall sign of undisclosed size on the side of an 11-story hotel adjacent to and facing the freeway. The area immediately to the west of Centinela Ave. is in the city of LA, including a residential neighbourhood in Westchester on the overlooking bluff.
According to the proposal, the billboards are operated by CBS Outdoor and would be expected to generate "in excess of $420,000 for the city in annual revenue." The proposal calls for an "overlay zone" in the area that would allow other landowners along the freeway corridor to propose similar signage.
The proposal notes that Culver City previously approved static billboards on the east side of the 405 freeway on the property of the Westfield shopping mall.
Trees have mysteriously disappeared near freeway billboard locations throughout Los Angeles County.
The group known as Ban Billboard Blight coalition has become the watchdog group over the proliferation of billboards. Their website is http://www.banbillboardblight.org.