Leaders stand up to Vegas-style billboards - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Leaders stand up to Vegas-style billboards

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Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:37 pm

PHOENIX

Phoenix mayoral candidate Greg Stanton was joined by former Phoenix mayor and Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard, local business owner, Jim Mapstead, and other Phoenix community leaders recently to call for an end to the city's expansion of Vegas-style billboards.

Standing in front of a 10-story billboard slated for conversion to LED, Stanton vowed to close the variance loophole that has allowed garishly lit billboards to be crammed near Phoenix neighborhoods and along freeways. Goddard said Phoenix should return to the 25-year tradition, which made such billboards illegal.

"I am proud to stand with Greg Stanton on this issue," Goddard said. "The problem with granting reasonable sounding waivers and exceptions is that soon the exception becomes the rule. We cannot allow the interests of the billboard companies to override the values of the citizens of Phoenix."

The press conference comes on the heels of a recently proposed ordinance that would loosen the restrictions on billboard placement even further. The ordinance is expected to be debated over the next three months.

Former Councilwoman Peggy Neely supports tightening city policy to avoid the unencumbered increase in billboards across our city.

"I have seen negative consequences in my former district from inappropriate billboard expansion. It's the reason I worked hard to try to stop it when I served on city council," Neely said. "And I support Greg in his effort to make neighborhoods and scenic corridors a higher priority than billboards."

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