According to this article on Burnsville Patch, Burnsville’s City Council is looking for the public to listen to and consider the discussion brought forth by ClearChannel in adding an LED-style billboard, the same ones which have been banned in other Minnesota cities and which some say blight the National Wildlife Refuge in Eagan, to Burnsville’s landscape.
From the article:
Since the mid-1980s, Burnsville has gradually pruned billboards from the city’s landscape as per city ordinance, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them entirely. Kealey argued that the code was perhaps outdated.
“Billboards are nothing like what they used to be. They used to be not-a-very-nice looking thing,” Kealey said. “Today they’re a completely different: They’re appealing and they have far better graphics, with LED as opposed to fixed, painted graphics. I think it’s time that we take another look at it because the decisions made 10 or 15 years ago need to be re-evaluated.”
Nevertheless, Sherry said she wanted to give the public ample opportunity to weigh in before making a decision.
“The public should know that what we’re talking about is like a giant TV screen,” Sherry said. “And while we’ve all been lobbied very heavily by Clear Channel, I would like to hear from the public about what they want. That has to come into the discussion.”
While the billboards are certainly different than they used to be, one could argue that they are far more annoying now than ever before. With an ever changing screen and more ads displayed, these new televisions on a stick can be a distraction to drivers and are visible from a great distance away causing similar disruptions to the natural landscape like the universally disliked Holiday Gas Station store signs which have cropped up all over town with very little regulation.
But this is a fight which can be won. As noted before, while ClearChannel is lobbying for variances to allow these signs to be placed in your backyard, there are other groups lobbying to keep them out. Clearly the Burnsville City Council at least wants to hear your concerns about the issue even if pro-business Kealey is unlikely to listen because it benefits his boss (whose family-owned hotel in town has one of the most annoying signs along 35W to date).
What do you think about allowing more billboards within Burnsville’s city limits? As a driver on 35W do you want to have Burnsville add yet another one of these along your commute? Do you think the “televisions on a stick” are better than traditional billboards? Do you think that the Burnsville City Council will actually listen to your concerns or will they side with ClearChannel instead? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.