3 public meetings will examine electronic billboards

You are invited to public information meetings on electronic billboards proposed to be installed in many of Tacoma’s Business Districts.

The City of Tacoma is considering revisions to the City’s billboard regulations. The proposed changes may allow installation of 10 digital billboards in exchange for the removal of 53 static billboards; impact the allowed and size and locations of billboards; and establish standards for digital billboards (brightness, hours of operation, etc.).

Electronic billboards are similar in function to electronic picture frames in that the images are static and change every few seconds. The proposed electronic billboards have the ability to communicate real time emergency information. While new digital billboards would be allowed only in certain areas, the proposed changes would apply citywide and could result in the removal of existing billboards from many different areas.

There are two immediate opportunities on March 9, 2011 to learn more about this proposal. Meeting #1 — Weds., March 9, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Simpson Community Room, 950 Pacific Ave., Suite 300; Meeting #2 — Weds., March 9, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, first Floor.

Over the next few weeks, the Planning Commission will be studying this proposal and collecting community feedback. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Weds., March 16 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 747 Market St., first floor, before making their recommendation to City Council, who will make the final decision. The Council is currently scheduled to make its final decision in July.

Additional information, including the complete text of the proposed revisions, the staff report, maps showing the areas where new digital billboards would be allowed and the first group of existing billboards that would be removed, and the environmental determination, is available from the Community and Economic Development Department, at all branches of the Tacoma Public Library, and on the Planning Division Web site — http://www.cityoftacoma.org/planning (click on “Billboard Regulations”).

If you have additional questions, contact Shirley Schultz at shirley.schultz@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5121.

To RSVP for the 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. meeting, contact Chelsea Levy at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber at chelseal@tacomachamber.org or (253) 627-2175.