Lesiglators approve digital billboards for some areas - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Lesiglators approve digital billboards for some areas

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Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 3:13 pm

State lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a deal to keep digital electronic billboards out of some areas of the state.

But not everyone is pleased.

HB 2543 carves out zones in northern, southern and eastern Arizona where no new signs of this type will be allowed. This is designed to ensure that none of the internally illuminated signs with their changing messages will be within 75 miles of existing or planned observatories.

The rest of the state — mainly stretching from the Phoenix area to Yuma — will remain open for the signs, though with a requirement that they be shut down each night at 11 p.m.

Mark Mayer, lobbyist for Scenic Arizona, acknowledged that the deal had been approved by the astronomy community. But Mayer said his group, which was not involved in the talks, wanted requirements on the signs in places that they will still be allowed, including limits on brightness as well as how close they can be to each other.

But supporters of the measure, which now goes to the governor, pointed out that cities and counties remain free to enact their own restrictions — or to ban the signs outright.

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