Giant Billboard In Miami

Giant Billboard In Miami

Photo: Matias J. Ocner, Miami Herald – A view of a 10-story LED billboard being constructed next to the Pérez Art Museum Miami on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in downtown Miami, Fla.

“…Outrage over a supersized digital billboard rising on Miami’s waterfront may spark a rewrite of the city’s sign rules, leaving commissioners to decide which of the lucrative new advertising platforms will survive.

On Thursday [In February], city commissioners narrowly agreed to advance legislation repealing a 2023 rule change allowing a billboard company to build an 1,800-square-foot digital sign for the Perez Art Museum of Miami.

The 100-foot-tall billboard under construction off Interstate 395 has outraged some residents, while PAMM calls it a stylish addition to the area that will generate millions of dollars a year for the tax-funded museum.

‘It completely changes the skyline,’ Nicole Desiderio, a downtown condo resident, told commissioners ahead of the vote. ‘We are not Las Vegas. We are not Times Square.’

Meanwhile, new digital billboards are in the city permitting pipeline for public spots outside the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and Miami’s Bayfront Park. Those were areas singled out in last year’s redo of the sign rules sponsored by then-Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla before his arrest on unrelated bribery charges and his subsequent reelection loss.

His legislation allowed digital billboards in those areas to be more than double the local size limit of 750 square feet, and now commissioners are arguing over whether to let PAMM and others finish building what’s currently allowed under city code.

Along with allowing supersized billboards in a few places downtown, the 2023 law extended permission for smaller billboards at other locations, including city property within the Omni and Overtown redevelopment districts and the city’s Virginia Key Beach Park…”

— Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald

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Legal: “Federal appeals court upholds Madison’s billboard rules”

Legal: “Federal appeals court upholds Madison’s billboard rules”

Photo: John Hart, Wisconsin State Journal

“A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by Adams Outdoor Advertising that claimed the city of Madison’s sign ordinance is unconstitutional.

The city and Adams have been battling in court over the city’s sign ordinances for decades, with the newly decided federal lawsuit filed in 2017. Adams owns and operates many billboards in Wisconsin, including about 90 in Madison.

Adams’federal lawsuit began as a sweeping First Amendment challenge to the city’s sign ordinance under a legal standard set in a previous U.S. Supreme Court case involving another municipality. It also challenged the city’s distinction between on- and off-premises signs as well as regulation of digital signs.

In April 2017, Adams submitted 26 applications to the city seeking to modify or replace existing billboards, including raising the height of structures and installing digital sign faces. In June 2017, then-city zoning administrator Matthew Tucker denied 25 of the 26 permits, citing ordinance provisions the proposed modifications would violate. The next month, Adams filed the lawsuit in federal court.

In April 2020, a federal judge dismissed the challenge, saying there’s no constitutional problem with Madison’s sign ordinance. ‘Whether the Capitol Square should look like Times Square is a decision that Madison city government is entitled to make,’ U.S. District Judge James Peterson said at the time.

Adams appealed that decision.

Now, on Jan. 4, in a 16-page decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, upheld the federal district court’s dismissal of Adams’ claims.

‘The city is pleased with this outcome,” Assistant City Attorney Lara Mainella said. “It supports and reinforces our understanding of the law. The city has always been careful to enact and enforce its sign regulations in a way that honors the First Amendment speech rights of those who wish to display signs in our city…'”

— Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal

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Alert! Citizens petition to keep mega billboards out of city parks

Alert! Citizens petition to keep mega billboards out of city parks

Illustration via using original photo credit on Miami New Times –  Richard Cavalleri

Giant 1800 square foot billboards slated for parks and other government properties in Miami. 

Resident’s start a petition drive and updated information during this fast moving situation here:

Backgrounder from Press:

“Miami targets even larger billboards throughout urban core”

“While a city board has caused a major delay to the Miami City Commission’s plan to allow outdoor advertising signs in some of the city’s premier waterfront parks, the commission followed with a vote advancing an even more aggressive measure allowing large digital ad signs on city property.

Before the commission Oct. 13 were two related items: The final reading of an amendment to the sign ordinance to allow advertising signs in three bayfront parks, sponsored by Joe Carollo; and the first reading of an amendment to the sign ordinance allowing larger digital advertising signs at numerous city-owned properties, sponsored by Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

Mr. Carollo’s proposal could not move forward because on Oct. 11 the Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB) voted to defer the legislation 90 days.

After discussion of the proposal and the rights and authority of PZAB, the commission voted to withdraw Mr. Carollo’s proposal. It had passed unanimously on first reading Sept. 22.

Mr. Carollo’s legislation would allow advertising signs up to 20 by 20 feet in Bayfront Park, Maurice A. Ferré Park, and Virginia Key Beach Park.

The original advertising sign ordinance allows outdoor advertising signs at three city-owned sites: James L. Knight Center, Olympia Theater and Building/Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, and Miami Children’s Museum.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla’s proposal would add Bayfront Park; Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County; Maurice A. Ferré Park; and ‘Any government-owned location within the Omni or SEOPW CRAs (Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency).’

The following locations would be deemed Digital Free Standing Sign Sites: Bayfront Park; PAMM; and Maurice A. Ferré Park. Signs up to 1,800 square feet would be allowed.

The purpose of both amendments to the city sign ordinance notes, ‘… the City of Miami seeks to bring in necessary revenue to maintain and improve government-owned properties within the City.’

City Attorney Victoria Méndez explained that state law requires these types of signs be reviewed by the PZAB before commission can grant final approval.

Per city code, the PZAB can defer an item for up to 90 days, and provisions allow two additional deferrals up to 45 days each.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla was not happy hearing this and eventually asked Ms. Mendez to draft an amendment stripping authority of PZAB by only allowing one deferral to its next meeting, which must be within 30 days. If PZAB does not hear a matter, it would constitute a denial and move on to city commission.

City Manager Art Noriega wanted both proposals withdrawn, but Mr. Diaz de la Portilla fought for a vote on first reading for his proposal.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said, I want to move forward with it. It’s first reading. Mr. Carollo had his item, and he had first reading. He has a vision for what he wants to do, I have my vision for what’s to happen in the Omni CRA area … and also some of the Allapattah and Health District areas…

Manolo Reyes again voiced concerns about the impact of large lighted signs on city residents. He was the lone no vote to approve Mr. Diaz de la Portilla’s proposal on first reading.”

— John Charles Robbins, Miami Today

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SIGN really for airplanes and pedestrian safety? Controversial “art mural” in DeFuniak Springs

SIGN really for airplanes and pedestrian safety? Controversial “art mural” in DeFuniak Springs

Photo: Flickr JR P as seen in Only in Your State Florida

“DeFuniak Springs officials say they want the city to be a destination spot for tourists. One way of doing this is by promoting the arts.

‘It’s been a bit of a collaborative effort between Main Street and the city, and also with the Tree and Beautification Board,’ said City Beautification & Tree Board Chair Kim Wennerberg. ‘We’re all trying to work together to make downtown more interesting and more of a destination…’

However, one street painting in particular continues to be controversial.

The project was intended to be more than art, though. City officials said this street mural was part of a safety project, intended to slow drivers down.

It has caused controversy because many say they don’t like it.

Wennerberg said the city had the board conduct a survey on the street painting. More than 750 people participated in the survey. Wennerberg said the majority of the reactions have been negative.

‘Even the mural here, I know there’s been a lot of opposition about it in whether they like it or not, but, you know, if you go overhead and with a lot of people flying over, they know where DeFuniak is,’ said local Greg Brack.

The future of the street painting remains unclear.”

— Marissa Roman, Only in Your State Florida

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Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Photo: Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

“As long as money doesn’t exchange hands, watercraft rentals and other businesses are allowed to operate on the Palma Sola Scenic Highway corridor.

Anyone who’s traveled the Palma Sola Scenic Highway has seen the roadside businesses popping up along Manatee Avenue – kayak, paddleboard, horseback riding and now, Jet Ski rentals.

While the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Corridor Management Entity (CME) can’t stop the businesses from being there, they are working to reduce the visual impact on the scenic highway. Members met Aug. 10 to discuss improvements planned for the roadside and how they can help reduce the impact of the various businesses that have sprung up along the causeway’s beach areas…

Co-chairs of the committee Ingrid McClellan and Craig Keys said they’d be willing to speak with vendors along the causeway and city of Bradenton code enforcement officials about the proliferation of signage in the area. No advertising signage is allowed on the scenic highway and, while McClellan said they’d been allowing businesses to slide with sandwich board signs, she’s noticed much larger business signs being used, including banners and flag signs that are pushed into the ground.

Members of the group agreed to not allow any business signage on the causeway going forward unless it’s small and a part of a vehicle…”

— Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

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LEGAL: “Federal appeals court backs Florida man in religious sign dispute”

LEGAL: “Federal appeals court backs Florida man in religious sign dispute”

“A federal appeals court Tuesday sided with a man who challenged a Fort Myers Beach ordinance that prevented him from carrying a sign with a Christian message on the town’s streets.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a district judge should have granted a request by Adam LaCroix for a preliminary injunction against the ordinance, which barred portable signs.

The panel did not agree with an argument by LaCroix that the ordinance was a ‘content-based’ constitutional violation. But the judges said the town’s prohibition on portable signs likely violated the First Amendment.

‘The rich tradition of political lawn signs perhaps is surpassed only by America’s history of marches and rallies dotted with handheld signs and placards of every imaginable description and covering every conceivable political message,’ Judge Stanley Marcus wrote in a 26-page opinion joined by Judges Jill Pryor and Britt Grant. ‘Images of demonstrators holding portable signs immediately spring to mind: the March on Washington, the Women’s March, the 2000 presidential election protests in Dade County and Tallahassee, the Black Lives Matter protests in nearly every city in the country, the Tea Party protests, the Women’s Suffrage March and many more. All of them involved people carrying portable signs. And all were easy to create and customize. If the town’s prohibition on carrying all portable signs were to stand, all kinds of expressive speech protected by the First Amendment would be barred.’

The opinion said Fort Myers Beach passed a sign ordinance to try to prevent visual blight and barred portable signs. It said LaCroix in October 2020 was ‘peaceably attempting to share his religious message on a public sidewalk’ when he received a warning from a code-compliance officer about violating the sign ordinance. In December 2020, he received a citation.

‘Although the record (in the case) does not tell us precisely the dimensions of the sign LaCroix held nor its exact message, we know that LaCroix said he shared his ‘religious, political and social message’ which ‘is one of hope and salvation that Christianity offers,” Marcus wrote.

A town official subsequently dismissed the citation, but LaCroix filed a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and a state law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell last year rejected the request for a preliminary injunction, spurring LaCroix and his attorneys from the American Liberties Institute to take the case to the Atlanta-based appeals court.

The opinion Tuesday sent the case back to district court…”

— CBS Miami Team

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