The Beaumont City Council has decided not to pursue changing its policy about new print or digital billboards along the I-10 freeway in Beaumont.
Community Development Director Christina Taylor updated the council at its Oct. 15 meeting about possibly updating the policy due to an influx of inquiries from the community about the addition of billboards.
Currently, there are 18 billboards along the I-10 in Beaumont.
There is one company that has the majority of the billboards, said Taylor.
Councilman Lloyd White expressed his disapproval for the billboards; he does not want Beaumont to become “billboard alley.”
In an effort to manage billboard blight, states must follow the Highway Beautification Act to receive federal aid for maintenance and improvement of their highway systems.
In fact, the state must maintain effective control of outdoor advertising or else be subject to a loss of 10 percent of Federal-aid in highway funds.
One requirement states that 500 square feet must be placed between billboard structures on the same side of the highway.
Although, the electronic billboards are more profitable than the print ones and for every digital billboard that goes up, two or three will come down, said Taylor.
Beaumont’s billboard on Highland Springs Avenue is hard to miss.
Councilmember Nancy Carroll is not a fan of the electronic billboards.
“Digital billboards are a whole different animal,” she said.
Carroll said the city has to look at where these billboards are located and at any safety issues that may arise because of them.
Councilman Mike Lara stated he is especially interested in the maintenance of existing billboards and ensuring that they are neat and safe.
As for the electronic billboards, he said “I think of Vegas when I see the larger billboards.’’
Lara, who works for the county of Riverside, said larger billboards in other cities in Riverside County are visible from his office window.
Mayor Julio Martinez said the city needs to consider the size of the face and the lighting projected from digital billboards.
Homeowners living near brightly lit digital billboards would have to deal with the encroaching lights into their homes at night.
Assistant city manager Kristine Day expressed her concern that adding more billboards could become a code enforcement issue.
The council unanimously decided to let the issue drop and the Planning Department need not work on any plans to change the policy.
Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at email@example.com , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x119.