A plan to convert two Benicia billboards to LED signs has run into opposition after being approved, and the city council is scheduled to decide this week on whether or not to allow the change.
The Benicia Planning Commission on Nov. 29 voted 4-1 to allow Clear Channel Outdoor to convert two vinyl billboards along I-680 to LED billboards that would cycle through various messages. The commission approved a similar project by a 3-2 vote at the same meeting.
The signs are located on city property in the Benicia Industrial Park, and could net the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, Patch reported previously.
But on Dec. 13, Benicia resident Ed Ruszel and Danville resident Craig Andres each filed separate appeals, saying the decision conflicts with Benicia's general plan and signage laws; each also cited what they said was a lack of public discussion or notification of nearby residents.
"The approval is inconsistent with the current sign ordinance," Ruszel wrote. "It gives unfair advantage to one advertiser over other local interests. It ignores the city's general plan to preserve the scenic vistas of the 680 Corridor ... This is a precedent-setting project that will significantly change our environment and open the door for additional LED billboard conversions."
The Benicia City Council will hear the item at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and city staff are recommending the council deny both appeals.
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