Council OKs new regs for billboards

KINGMAN - While Kingman has yet to see any within its limits, the City Council has nonetheless adopted new regulations for off-premises billboards that use electronic messaging technology.

City Council members voted 6-1 Tuesday to adopt new regulations that closely mirror a similar amendment they adopted for on-premises LED signs in July. The new regulations restrict electronic billboards' nighttime brightness to no more than 0.6 lumens above the surrounding ambient light level, as measured from 100 feet away, and require each billboard to come equipped with an automatic sensor that would lower its light level to correspond with the regular daylight cycle.

The new regulations also limit electronic billboards to a minimum message display of no less than eight seconds, with a ban on flashing or other animation, short of transition effects between one message and another. Most industry-standard electronic billboards simply switch from one image to the next.

Council also approved the Planning and Zoning Commission's reduced recommendation mandating a 600-foot minimum between neighboring electronic billboards. The amendment proposed by staff originally suggested 1,200 feet, as based on several other city codes. The city's current limit between standard billboards and tri-vision signs is 300 feet.

During Tuesday's discussion, however, Councilwoman Carole Young was the sole voice of opposition to the 600-foot limit, arguing that she was already against billboards within the city limits, and 600 feet between electronic billboards seemed like it would prove too much of a distraction to motorists traveling along the established billboard corridors on Andy Devine Avenue and Interstate 40.

But Vice Mayor Robin Gordon countered that Andy Devine Avenue already had an established history of being a major commercial advertising venue as the former Route 66.

City Development Services Director Gary Jeppson also noted that representatives of the billboard advertising industry have told the city that they have already maximized their effective billboard coverage within the established corridors, meaning the only way Kingman is likely to see any new electronic billboards would be to either expand the existing C-3 zones or to approve the replacement of a standard billboard.

Jeppson further noted that, since billboards are already only allowed in the C-3 zoning district through Council-approved conditional use permits, the City Council would have direct control over the construction of any future billboards in the city.

"So each one of these signs is going to come before us to be considered," Gordon said. "I feel comfortable that this Council as well as subsequent Councils will look at these requests and make good decisions."

Gordon made a motion to approve the new regulations, with Kieth Walker seconding.

The motion passed, with Young retaining her stance as the sole opposing vote.