Discussions began with the Regional Planning Commission, which
along with the Zoning Board of Appeals reviews land use requests.
Joe Malek of WC Media was present to answer questions about
billboards. He represents the company that hopes to put up a
billboard near Four Corners Lube.
Regional Planning Commission members present for the meeting on Dec.
7th were Commission Chairman Bill Graff, Vice Chairman Blair
Hoerbert, Fred Finchum, Jeff Hoinacki, Ryan Murphy, Marty Neitzel,
Chuck Ruben, Dave Schonauer and Jim Vipond. Logan County Zoning
Officer Will D'Andrea and County Highway Engineer Bret Aukamp were
D'Andrea said in July, the county was approached about constructing
a billboard, but the county ordinance limits billboards to
agricultural zoned areas near the interstate. D'Andrea said that
conflicts with the state ordinance, which does not allow billboards
in areas zoned agricultural.
D'Andrea said the Planning and Zoning Committee had been looking
into adopting billboard regulations to "allow billboards in
commercially zoned areas of unincorporated areas of Logan County."
D'Andrea said "after some discussion, the Planning and Zoning
Committee basically adopted the city of Lincoln ordinance." Some
minor language changes have been added.
The proposed ordinance listed several requirements.
For instance, billboards must only be placed on lands zoned B-1, B-2
and B-3 (Business) and comply with the "provisions" of these lands.
Many requirements relate to the size of the billboards. The board
can only have four panels and the panels shall not be stacked above
or below the other panels. The maximum area for a panel "shall be
300 square feet with a maximum vertical dimension of 15 feet and a
maximum horizontal dimension of 20 feet." This dimension will
include the "board and trim" but not the base, supports, or other
The ordinance says billboards cannot be located on a roof or
"non-sign structure" and not attached to any other structure or
The billboard must be located in a place that does not "block the
view of existing business signs on adjacent commercial properties
from the public street."
The county is suggesting that billboards not be stacked on top of
The ordinance also regulates the distance of the billboards from
other structures. A billboard cannot be erected within 300 feet of
any residentially zoned property or 35 feet of any existing
building. It cannot be within 300 feet of any park, playground,
school, library, or place of worship. Billboards cannot be erected
within 75 feet of an overhead power line; 500 feet of another
billboard; or 50 feet of a city or township right-of-way.
There are also regulations and restrictions for digital billboards
since they can cause distractions and light spillover. The display
can only change "once every ten seconds, with a transition period of
one second or less." The billboard must have a monitor that can
"automatically adjust the brightness level of the display." The
light cannot exceed a certain level of brightness.
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The digital billboards must also comply with regulations and county ordinances
relating to use, size and location.
A few commission members asked if a 15 X 20 foot billboard would be divided into
four panels with four different advertisements.
Joe Malek of WC Media said the panels would be the "faces" where the
advertisements are placed and the four panels would actually be two side-by-side
panels with the same ads on front and back so you could see them from both
Commission member Jim Vipond asked what was allowed with digital billboards. He
said one digital billboard near Bloomington is distracting because of all the
D'Andrea said the regulations for digital billboards have to do with frequency
and movement of messages, how flashy it is, and the brightness. The billboard
message could only change every ten seconds.
Chairman Graff asked how many billboards Malek expects would go up if the
ordinance was approved.
Malek said everything is determined by "traffic counts," so "typically for us
if there is a road that has over 7,000 cars a day," his company would consider
placing a billboard there. He said "anything under 7,000 cars a day, with the
expense that it takes to put one of these structures up and what we could sell
an ad for, would not be worth our time."
Malek said it is not likely "a bunch of billboards" will be "popping up in the
After some brief discussion, Graff asked for a recommendation. Blair Hoerbert
motioned for approval of the ordinance and commission members unanimously voted
to recommend approval.
The Zoning Board of Appeals approved the ordinance language at a public hearing
on Thursday, December 7.
The ZBA also recommended adding county highways as part of setbacks.
At the December 20th voting session the Logan County Board approved the
Billboard Ordinance with amendments to add setbacks for county, city and
township right-of-ways, county highways, and 40 feet from power lines.
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