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July 21
2009 - Castaic resident Gidget, the Taco Bell commercial Chihuahua, dies at 15 after major stroke [story]


billboards[KHTS] – Billboards along the railroad tracks in the Santa Clarita Valley could be a thing of the past.

The city of Santa Clarita is currently considering a proposal from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that would result in the removal of 118 billboards in the SCV in exchange for three digital billboards along Interstate 5 and State Route 14.

Metro currently owns 62 structures with 118 billboard faces along the railroad right-of-way, primarily along Soledad Canyon Road and Railroad Avenue.

Tom Cole, director of community development for the city, said that Metro approached city staff with the proposal, similar to what they’ve suggested for other communities.

“They knew how we felt with some of the blighted conditions in the city,” he said.

Billboard removal has long been a goal of city staff, but purchasing billboard in order to take them down was never financially feasible, according to the new Billboards.Santa-Clarita.com, which was launched on Wednesday.

The new billboards will be placed at Oak Springs Canyon Road and Remsen Street on SR-14 and at Magic Mountain Parkway on I-5.

The new city site describes it as a 20:1 removal ratio, replacing 25,830 square feet of traditional billboard space with 4,032 square feet of digital space.

The city would also earn a portion of the ad revenue from the digital billboards, as much as $450,000 a year, because they would be built on city-owned property.

Cole said that the city currently earns nothing from the Metro right-of-way billboards because they stand on county-owned property.

The proposal has been in negotiations for 2-3 years, according to Cole, but now it has moved into the public comment stage, with three public hearings scheduled for early 2014, once at a Planning Commission meeting and twice before the City Council.

If approved by the council, an environmental impact report and design plan would have to be developed.

If all goes according to plan, Cole said that construction and removal could start in late 2014 at the earliest, to be completed with five years, according to the draft agreement with Metro.

Those who are interested in commenting on the proposal can submit their thoughts to the city at Billboard.Santa-Clarita.com or attend the public hearings next year.

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2 Comments

  1. Julie Edwards-Sanchez says:

    More information will continue to unfold as this billboard deal with the MTA moves through the normal approval process including public feedback but just a few facts to share:

    1) The MTA is the official landowner of the property where the railroad tracks run through Santa Clarita
    2) For decades, prior to being known as MTA, the Railroad (Southern Pacific), leased its property along the tracks to private companies or corporations for various purposes lncluding billboard advertising. The Railroad would collect rent for use of its property that otherwise would not be utilized.
    3) The MTA was never in the “billboard” business. They were in the railroad

    • Julie Edwards-Sanchez says:

      (sorry technical difficulty and was sent before complete)
      MTA was in the RR business
      4) Companies in the billboard business in Santa Clarita are CBS, Clear Channel, and Edwards Outdoor Advertising (a family run business established over 40 yrs ago)
      5) The MTA does not own ANY billboard structures in Santa Clarita
      6) MTA has the right to cancel “leases” on their property as they see fit and it is their prerogative based on their lease agreements signed with various companies
      7) Billboard advertising is the most economical form of advertising especially for small businesses which comprise most of the businesses in Santa Clarita. Most signs are visible 18-24 hrs/day and monthly rent is comparable if not better than a small quarter page advertisement in a local paper or magazine that runs either once or for a few days at best
      8) The City banned any additional billboards in Santa Clarita after citihood in 1987

      This is a significant project that will not only affect the landscape in Santa Clarita but will impact many businesses that rely on billboard advertising to help them remain viable. It is important for everyone to share your views with the City Counsel regarding this deal.

Leave a Comment


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