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Kalamazoo plans moratorium on electronic billboard requests

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Electronic Billboards project light, they change ads every few seconds and they are already in wide use.
Electronic Billboards project light, they change ads every few seconds and they are already in wide use.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The City of Kalamazoo is expected to impose a moratorium on allowing electronic billboards in the city until it’s had time to redraft its ordinance, get more public input and study the issue.

A proposal by Adams Billboards to introduce four billboards in the city was tabled by the zoning board last month until they could get more input. City Planner Jeffrey Chamberlain says he has received applications for four more since.

He says their current ordinance just isn’t up to the job.

The billboards work like a TV set with thousands of light emitting diodes creating changing pictures. There is one in the Township across from Borgess Hospital, and another on South Westnedge near Meijer. A number of citizens complained to commissioners last night that they would shine into the windows of residential homes and distract drivers where they are currently proposed to be located.

Chamberlain says he will be back with a specific proposal for a moratorium and a work plan to deal with the issue at the Commission’s next meeting in two weeks.

Last September, Portage Schools agreed to a deal with Adams to lease space on school property for four electronic billboards, but they will all face I-94 and U.S.131 and there will be restrictions on what they can be used to advertise.

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