Recent Action Alerts
Many Billboards in Many Places
Long talked about, the first reading of an ordinance to permit 50 billboards on first floor vacant storefronts (no more than 25 in any commission district) was scheduled for 7/28.
-- The City was told on May 11, 2011, by the Florida Department of Transportation (click link to see the letter) that any of these signs on a federally funded road, including Biscayne Blvd, would need a state permit and have to meet spacing, size and land use requirements of state law. The state and federal governments have already told the City its mural ad ordinance is illegal because it does not count all signs to meet spacing requirements. No distance requirement here. Will the City of Miami never stop its lawlessness?
-- This ordinance is illegal under the County sign ordinance as it authorizes signs which do not advertise goods and services on site (therefore are denoted Class C signs) and do not meet the Class C regulations at Count Code Section 33-107.
-- This visual pollution will occur in every area in the City where commercial properties exist. There is no input from the neighborhoods. The billboard companies pick the locations and content. There is no standard definition of eligibility period of vacancy.
-- Though boasted as an economic engine, the ads will not necessarily promote goods and services available in the area. In fact, the billboards can advertise a distant competitor to a neighborhood shop. Landlords will pocket cash instead of adjusting rents to bring shopping to local residents. No study has been done to see if this program is an economic help or hindrance.
-- Even the city-led Downtown Development Authority (the DDA) doesn’t want it. There was no second for the motion to approve by DDA after hearing the proposed ordinance.
-- Originally to be awarded to one company specializing in this type of ad, now an applicant can be any outdoor advertising company in business for at least 3 years – read South Florida Equitable Fund (the newish company which tried to blackmail the city with a statute in the state legislature and has threatened to sue the City re its illegal mural ad ordinance) is now rewarded with this scheme.
-- Each permit costs $1,000 so the ordinance cannot be championed as a revenue source – except of course if it is the outdoor advertising companies’ revenues the Commissioners and Mayor wish to promote.