[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
67°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 19
2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]


[KHTS] – Santa Clarita City Council members OK’d a much-maligned billboard proposal from Metro in front of a standing-room-only crowd at City Hall Tuesday night.

The council voted 3-1 to approve three 50-year leases, one for each of the three new freeway-adjacent billboard structures commissioned to replace 62 billboards throughout the city on Metro land during the six-plus-hour meeting.

As part of the agreement, Santa Clarita’s coffers are to receive a percentage of future revenues for the new digital billboards, and the opportunity to advertise municipal issues with a portion of the billboards’ rotating ad space reserved for city usage.

Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste recused herself from the discussion and vote because she lives close to more than one of the billboards that would be taken down.

City Councilman TimBen Boydston asked for more time to consider the proposal in favor of a better deal for Santa Clarita and local business, but ultimately, he was outvoted.

However Boydston and Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, who led the hearing, mentioned several concerns that were ultimately added to the contract.

“I think before we make a decision on this project, I should have the right to look at the calculations,” Boydston said, expressing frustration over the lack of information available to him in his decision-making process.

Boydston questioned everything from the visual impact to the lack of an environmental impact report to the revenues and language of the contract’s indemnity for more than an hour during the council’s comment period.

“I see this as a major win-win. I do understand that there are business owners who are affected and I do think we have a responsibility to help them,” said City Councilman Frank Ferry. “But at the same time, I think residents have made it quite clear that they would like to see us remove the billboards.”

Ferry also accused Boydston of trying to filibuster the meeting because he had a lengthy list of concerns.

There were several concerns brought up by Santa Clarita City Council members set to be added to the deal.

At one point nearly six hours into the meeting, City Councilwoman Marsha McLean asked Santa Clarita’s appointed negotiator if other cities that negotiated billboard proposals with Metro had gotten a better deal than Santa Clarita’s, the negotiator answered, “yes.”

“Then we need to talk about that, don’t we?” McLean said. All voted in favor of the deal except for Boydston, not including Weste’s abstention.

Two dozen residents spoke out against the deal, which came after nearly an hour of presentations from city staff, Metro officials and associates hired by AllVision, which is Metro’s partner in the deal.

Metro and AllVision, the private firm Metro contracted to help the proposal along, sponsored presentations on all aspects favoring the digital billboards, from the milliseconds drivers glance at the billboards to the NITS, or units for the measurement of the light intensity the signs project.

Six speakers spoke in favor of the plan. There were also six comments submitted against the plan, and one comment in favor of the plan.

A firm in favor of the deal brought forth a traffic engineering expert named Mike Tantala, who cited studies looking at the milliseconds drivers take to glance at the proposed digital billboards, which he claimed was a fraction of the federally accepted threshold.

Boydston showed a presentation mentioning safety concerns for the digital billboards, and then Tantala claimed the study was outdated, adding a federal study disproved the claims about safety concerns his presentation offered.

The residents against the plan complained about everything from the lack of local advertising venues the plan would create to the fact that the city’s plan to eliminate the “blight” of billboard involved pulling down billboards on the Metro right of way in exchange for three massive billboards on city property.

“(The billboard) has helped our business grow tremendously,” said John Smith, who spoke as the local owner of Molly Maid franchise. “My experience tells me …. that (the new digital) billboard advertising simply will not be affordable to (small businesses).”

Those in favor of the proposal, such as Valencia resident Tim Honadel, wanted to modernize the city, and thought the billboard-reduction plan would help do that.

“I like the idea of bringing the SCV out of the 1950s and into the 21st century,” Honadel said. “Change is hard, but I think we can get through this change.”

A website Santa Clarita officials created to solicit resident feedback for the billboard proposal from Metro received more than 100 postings before Tuesday’s meeting.

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce president also spoke in favor of the billboard-reduction plan.

“It’s our impression that there are many significant benefits,” said Jim Backer, president of JSB Development, “and an opportunity for new marketing of the community on the freeway.”

From the city’s perspective, the plan is not about the potential for $450-600,000 in revenue that would result from Metro’s proposal, said Gail Morgan, city spokeswoman for Santa Clarita.

It’s always been about beautifying the city by getting rid of the billboards, she said.

The Santa Clarita Planning Commission approved the proposal with a 3-1 vote Jan. 8.

“We have been trying for years to get rid of the billboards, especially along the Metro right of way and found it’s been very expensive to do that,” Morgan said in an earlier interview, alluding to past negotiations between city officials and Edwards Outdoor.

Those negotiations reportedly are ongoing, and Julie Edwards-Sanchez, who manages Edwards Outdoor Signs, asked the city to continue negotiations.

Both sides refused comment on the state of negotiations between the city and Edwards Outdoor Signs.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

5 Comments

  1. Jim Lupold Jim Lupold says:

    It is interesting that they claim drivers only watch these signs for a millisecond, yet the company selling advertising on these billboards claims a much longer impression….

  2. So much wasted money.. Whose money?? oh,.. right

  3. How come we didn’t hear anything about the Cell tower on Fairview! It will impact all the children at Helmer’s Elementary School!

  4. Good riddens. The billboards make our beautiful city look trashy.

  5. JD Gibert says:

    On one hand, I’ve always hated billboards. On the other, I couldn’t imagine having to start a business in this valley wit no way to let people you exist (and having to pay the landlord a piece of the action above rent). The City is forcing businesses to pay to raise the facades of the buildings and allowing multistoried construction to block views of ridgelines & mountains while eliminating bill boards and making business signage low visibility. WTH ???

Leave a Comment


LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Friday, Nov 17, 2017
As part of the city of Santa Clarita's median turf removal project, nine medians on Orchard Village Road will be refurbished from November 2017 until approximately August 2018.
Friday, Nov 17, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Parkway Motorcars, will host a free Thanksgiving Dinner at the city’s Newhall Community Center on Monday, November 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov 17, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new River Village Trailhead at Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road on Thursday, November 30 at 10 a.m.
Thursday, Nov 16, 2017
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth will participate in the Santa Clarita Sierra Club’s first-ever “Mayor’s Family Hike” on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017
The Santa Clarita City Council gave the green light Tuesday night to a feasibility study to determine a location for a new amphitheater in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Keep Up With Our Facebook
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]
1957 - Newhall County Library dedicated on Ninth Street; rededicated as city of Santa Clarita's Business Incubator exactly 57 years later (2014) [story]
The WiSH Education Foundation helped students at Sierra Vista Junior High School in Canyon Country with a donation of guitars Friday.
WiSH Foundation Donates New Guitars to Sierra Vista
Rep. Steve Knight (R, CA-25), is sending this letter to constituents about H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives 227-205 Thursday.
Knight: House Tax Bill Offers ‘Unprecedented Relief’
Los Angeles County and city of Los Angeles officials have reached a key milestone in their partnership to create 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless people over the next decade.
LA City-County Partnership to Create Supportive Housing for Homeless
'SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical' officially opens at the Palace Theatre in New York on Dec. 4, but this weekend, NY-based CalArts alumni gather for a preview event.
Dec. 4: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants – The Musical’ Opens on Broadway
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, SCV Sheriff's announced the arrest of a Saugus probationer on drug and probation violation charges. Plus, a look at some more fun, holiday events happening this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, November 17, 2017
Seventy dancers from CalArts will present a massive ensemble performance outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.
Dec. 15-16: CalArts Dancers Plan Massive ‘Impromptu’ Performance
REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, in partnership with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, will present the first-ever symposium on "Kandors," the last major project of renowned Los Angeles artist and CalArts alumnus Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78) on Saturday, November 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 18: REDCAT Symposium on Mike Kelley’s ‘Kandors’
Back in rainy Vancouver for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships on Saturday, the TMU Mustangs men's cross country team will look for more monumental firsts.
TMU Cross Country Poised for Podium Finish
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce invites local business owners and managers to a Chancellor’s Circle Breakfast briefing on 2018 employment laws in California at College of the Canyons' University Center on Friday, December 1 at 7:30 a.m.
Dec. 1: New State Employment Laws Outlined at Chancellor’s Breakfast
As part of the city of Santa Clarita's median turf removal project, nine medians on Orchard Village Road will be refurbished from November 2017 until approximately August 2018.
Orchard Village Road Medians to be Improved
'The Republican tax cut bill was written to help the rich at the expense of the middle class,' Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said after Thursday's vote on HR-1 in the House of Representatives.
Feinstein: House Tax Bill Would Aid Rich at Expense of Middle Class
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Parkway Motorcars, will host a free Thanksgiving Dinner at the city’s Newhall Community Center on Monday, November 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 20: Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Newhall
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, November 21, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Nov. 21: County Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man at a Park and Ride lot in Newhall after finding marijuana and cash in his vehicle early Tuesday morning.
Man Arrested for Marijuana at ‘Park and Ride’ Gets Ride to Jail
The city of Santa Clarita will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new River Village Trailhead at Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road on Thursday, November 30 at 10 a.m.
Nov. 30: Ribbon-Cutting to Dedicate River Village Trailhead
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed the county's first two influenza-associated deaths of the 2017-2018 flu season.
Two Flu Deaths Confirmed in LA County
Officers from the California Highway Patrol's Newhall station arrested a man in Valencia after chasing his vehicle from Bakersfield Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.
CHP Arrests Driver in SCV After Chase from Bakersfield
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Narcotics Bureau deputies arrested a Saugus probationer on drug and probation violation charges Thursday morning.
Saugus Probationer Arrested for Drug Possession
1969 - Construction begins on Magic Mountain amusement park [story]
Boeing announced its investment in Santa Clarita-basted Gamma Alloys, a leader in aluminum alloys focused on developing advanced metal-matrix composites for use in aerospace, automotive and other industries.
Boeing Invests in SC-Based Aerospace, Defense Company
CSUN Men's Basketball head coach Reggie Theus has announced the signings of transfers Jordan Bell, Josh Jefferson and Amel Kuljuhovic to national letters of intent.
Matadors Add Three Recruits During Early Signing Period
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) on Thursday released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in 2016.
Report: Number of County Hate Crimes Remains High
Preparations are underway at the Michael Hoefflin Foundation as it gets ready for the 2017 Family Holiday Baskets.
Michael Hoefflin Foundation Requesting Donations for 2017 Family Holiday Baskets
Fifty-seven games including 15 matchups with 2017 NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2018 CSUN Baseball schedule.
Matadors Release 2018 Baseball Schedule
The CSUN men's volleyball team wraps up a busy 17-day span this weekend, traveling to Westwood for the annual UCLA Fall Invitational.
Matadors Head to Westwood for UCLA Fall Invitational
The Williams S. Hart Museum located in Hart Park in Santa Clarita will host an Open House, “Exploring the Art at Hart,” on Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Nov. 19: Hart Park Open House, Exploring Art at Hart
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Friends of Castaic Lake, will be hosting the 24th Annual Castaic Lake Winter Magic and Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 2nd at Paradise Cove, lower lagoon.
Dec. 2: Castaic Lake Winter Magic, Lighted Boat Parade
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth will participate in the Santa Clarita Sierra Club’s first-ever “Mayor’s Family Hike” on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Nov. 19: Inaugural “Mayor’s Family Hike”
In anticipation of the busy holiday shopping season, Princess Cruises is launching its annual Cyber Sale, with two can’t-miss offers to the more than 360 worldwide destinations the cruise line visits.
Nov. 17-29: Princess Cruises Holiday Cyber Sale
Santa Clarita Elementary School will hold a Winter Wonderland Holiday Boutique, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:00 a.m - Noon.
Dec. 2: Santa Clarita Elementary Winter Wonderland Holiday Boutique
Two people were killed and two more were critically injured in a Wednesday evening crash on the northbound 5 freeway just south of Vista Del Lago, officials said.
Two Killed in Late Night Crash Near Pyramid Lake
STOCKTON – In this Caltrans News Flash, you get an up-close look as Caltrans transitions from 4-inch wide stripes to 6-inch wide stripes on the state highways, providing motorists with a better view of the road in darkness or inclement weather such as rain, snow and fog.
Wider Striping Part of Senate Bill 1, Provides Motorists Better View in Darkness
1997 - "Hercules" movie, directed by CalArts grad John Musker, wins four Annie Awards (animation's top honor) [timeline]