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UPDATE: Electronic signs could dot Bountiful neighborhoods
by BY REBECCA PALMER
Mar 18, 2013 | 2350 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Time change for March 19 public hearing

BOUNTIFUL
 — The Bountiful planning commission has held three public hearings about allowing the signs to become more pervasive, but staffers and decision-makers alike are concerned that they have only heard from the idea’s proponents.

Their next meeting, Tuesday, March 19, will begin at 6 p.m., according to the meeting agenda posted online. It previously had been scheduled for 7 p.m.

It started when the friend of a city councilmember asked for such a sign, said city planner Aric Jensen. Since then, businesses such as the new Goldenwest Credit Union at 2085 Orchard Drive and the Gordon’s Copy Print shop on 400 North have asked about them.

“At this point we haven’t had any feedback from the public,” Jensen said. “The thing that’s important to us as the city staff is that the public is aware these signs could potentially effect areas where they live.”

Six or seven years ago, there was public outcry when the city allowed an electronic sign on 400 North for a chiropractor, Jensen said. The city then banned the signs except for along the 500 West corridor.

Current proposals are seeking electronic signs on property that is zoned for commercial use, not residential use. 

“There are a handful of people who are presenting information that they hope will convince the planning commission that electronic signs will be good for Bountiful,” said Planning Commission Chairman Tom Smith, “so we’re basically only hearing one side of the story and we’re curious what the people of Bountiful feel like.”

Commission members have been talking to their neighbors and visiting existing electronic signs in anticipation of their March 19 meeting, when the topic will again be broached. They hope to hear from the community at that meeting, which will be held at city hall.

Smith hasn’t yet made up his mind on whether to recommend that the city council change the rules, but thinks that these signs may not fit in with the concept that Bountiful is a beautiful place to live.

“I think there’s a place for them, but not in most districts in Bountiful,” he said. “Some people have complained about them being distracting when you drive, and that’s happened to me sometimes.”

However, he also said that the signs are good for business.

You can make your opinions known at the meeting or by contacting your local planning commissioner. More information is available at bountifulutah.gov

 rpalmer@davisclipper.com

Click here to read about what the planning commission decided.

Comments
(3)
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clippertoday
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March 19, 2013
I totally agree with banning them altogether... what a waste of energy / money !!! comeon, this is not LA... figure it out people. get ride of these obnoxious signs!!
thompson.marie
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March 18, 2013
Digital billboards, electronic billboards, changeable variable message centers - whatever you call them they are the same thing: huge roadside distractions and aesthetic catastrophes. As a lifelong Bountiful City resident I do not want to see the proliferation of digital signs. In fact, I would like to see a total ban of them. These often huge TVs-on-a-stick distract drivers, throw off huge amounts of light into neighboring homes and the night sky, and constitute a magnified blight on the landscape. It seems common sense that digital billboards are distracting, after all, that's their job. But while the billboard industry tells advertisers "drivers won't be able to avoid them," they tell regulators that the signs don't pose a safety hazard. That’s simply counterintuitive.



A new study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention concludes that digital billboards attract and hold the gazes of drivers for far longer than a threshold that previous studies have shown to be dangerous. The study, conducted by researchers at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute and funded by the Swedish Transport Administration, found that drivers looked at digital billboards significantly longer than they did at other signs on the same stretch of road, with the digital signs often taking a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds. A well-regarded 2006 study by Virginia Tech for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds greatly increases the risk of a crash. The study also found that nearly 80 percent of all crashes involved driver inattention just prior to (within 3 seconds) of the crash.



I’m well aware that proponents of the signs cite the the potential economic advantages. But personally, I avoid patronizing businesses with electronic signs. I feel that if a business has the amount of money to “advertise” in such an ostentatious manner, they don’t need my business. I am appalled that any public building, such as Bountiful High, would be allowed such an outrageous and unnecessary expenditure.
Kyddyl
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March 10, 2013
The only legitimate uses for these types of signs would be for alerts for crosswalks, road hazards and wildlife crossings. Otherwise they are very, very tacky, far too bright and further reduces what little originality is left in our town. Further they are very distracting and glaring. Did I mention tacky? There is no earthly reason why they should be on schools to advertise games and other trivia while distracting already distracted drivers. Allow me to mention massively urban "tacky" once again...Of course if the local neurosurgeon decides he needs to get attention far be it from me to be judgemental of his so called "professional" tastes! Have I made myself clear? these things are tacky, loud, and obnoxious as I hope I've been here. NO MORE OF THESE SIGNS except for public safety warnings.
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