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Kalamazoo City Commissioners unanimously impose moratorium on digital billboards


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- A moratorium has been declared, temporarily halting the construction of digital electronic billboards in the city of Kalamazoo for six months, while discussions are held on whether to allow them, restrict them or do what Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor have done, and that’s ban them altogether.

Representatives of Adams Advertising suggested an alternative, a 60-to 90 day delay to receive public comment on the current proposal, but they say rewriting city ordinances that regulate billboards changes the rules in the middle of the game and is unfair.  They would like to put one on top of the Peninsula Building downtown, at the foot of Westnedge Hill and two other locations. 

Residents who face the prospect of having to live near one of these Digital Billboards say they are the game changers, gigantic light sources that will deface the city and distract drivers.

Approval by City Commissioners Monday night starts a 6-month long process outlined by the Planning Department to gather public input and discussion and to follow a work plan for devising new city zoning rules for the digital billboards.