No billboard overhaul this spring

City Council voted on Thursday to suspend a bill that would have created a new set of regulations for outdoor advertising in Philadelphia.

The bill was introduced by Councilman Bobby Henon last September. It had been in the works for months prior to that, through negotiations between the Councilman’s office, the Planning Commission, Scenic Philadelphia, and the billboard industry. Years prior, if you count the work that the Zoning Code Commission did to revise the zoning regulations related to outdoor signs.

Really, it has been in the works forever. The city has never had a set of billboard regulations that have been enforced by L&I and not challenged by the industry. Currently, the city and the industry are locked in a settlement agreement reached after the industry sued to block the city’s last attempt to create billboard regulations, in 2006. That settlement agreement expires this summer.

Councilman Henon was not available after Thursday’s Council meeting to comment on why the most recent billboard bill won’t move forward. A spokeswoman for his office said they “plan to try again” next fall.

About the author

Jared Brey, Zoning and development reporter

Jared Brey writes about development, zoning policy, and city government for He wasn't interested in being a reporter until halfway through a master's program in journalism at Temple University that he intended to parlay into an academic career. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, City Paper, Business Journal, and Metropolis. 

Jared grew up in Montgomery County and moved to Philadelphia in 2005. He has since lived in Brewerytown, the Italian Market, North Central, Bella Vista, and East Passyunk. He believes he will stay in South Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @jaredbrey, or send him tips at

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