SCRUB letter regarding billboard legislation

A message from SCRUB:

Councilman Frank DiCicco Introduces Legislation that Strips Neighborhoods of their Right to Enforce Billboard Laws

Billboard prohibition and removal has enhanced revitalization efforts in every corner of the city for 20 years but DiCicco's proposed legislation, Bill 100013, removes key language from the current law that validates the regulations. The proposed law, intended to dramitically increase digital, vinyl and billboard advertising signage on Market Street, destroys the billboard code that has protected every neighborhood in the city.

WHAT: Non-accessory billboards, digital signs and vinyl wall wraps of unlimited size and height on structures located on Market Street between 7th and 13th Streets.  In order to do this, DiCicco has deleted critical language from existing outdoor advertising zoning codes 14-1604 and 9-602 removing protections that will AFFECT EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD in the city. This means you will have no protection from billboard companies.

WHEREEvery neighborhood in this city will be negatively impacted because Bill No. 100013 removes the language containing the legal basis for regulating billboards and non-accessory outdoor advertising signs in Philadelphia. 

WHEN:  Bill No. 100013 was introduced last Thursday.  Hearings for this Bill have not been scheduled.  

HOW:  Section 14-1602 has protected Philadelphia from billboard saturation since 1991. The use of brackets [] in Councilman DiCicco's bill means that sections are intended to be deleted. Therefore, the Councilman intends to remove all of the language in both Section 9-602 [(1) a thru (m)], and Section 14-1604 [1(a) thru (m)], eliminating public policy statements that validate the laws. Click here to read copy of bill. As a result, laws that have prevented or removed over 1,075 billboards in Philadelphia neighborhoods will be eviscerated.

WHY:  Neighborhoods and communities throughout the city will be stripped of their rights to enforce billboard laws in order to benefit select landlords and the billboard industry.  We can only guess the motivation behind this nefarious bill.


About the author

Andrew Goodman, Community Engagement Director, New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Goodman is currently the Community Engagement Director at the New Kensington Community Development Corporation.

Previously, Goodman worked as a city planner and project manager for PennPraxis. His focus was on projects that combined community engagement and public space design, including the Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process, the Green2015 initiative for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Bartram’s Mile project in Southwest Philadelphia.  Goodman was an early contributor to PlanPhilly and helped shape the site in its first iteration.  As PlanPhilly grew, Goodman represented the publisher and provided professional planning input and project management support as the site expanded its beat coverage, went through multiple redesigns, conducted an internal strategic plan, and researched revenue generation opportunities.

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