Thursday, September 23, 2021 4:16 am

Will Phoenix go dark?

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

By Josh Kelety | Phoenix New Times 

Maricopa County officials are considering a proposal that would increase the number and size of digital billboards in the county. 

The plan — which was drafted several years ago by Becker Boards, a Phoenix-based billboard company with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area — is slated to be discussed at a September 9 public hearing before the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission will then make a recommendation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who will ultimately decide whether to adopt the policy. 

Currently, digital billboards aren’t technically allowed on unincorporated land in Maricopa County, though local cities such as Phoenix and Tolleson have . (The county does authorize businesses to display on-site digital signs.) The plan pushed by Becker Boards would allow for traditional “static” billboards to be converted into digital billboards along existing freeways in those unincorporated parts of the county. It would also increase the billboard size limit — for both static and digital billboards located near freeways — from 300 square feet to 672 square feet. The maximum height for such billboards would be boosted as well, from the current 30-foot limit to 70 feet. 

In Maricopa County, members of the public can request that changes be made to the county’s zoning code by submitting a “text amendment” and paying a fee. That’s what Becker Boards has done in this case.

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