LA City Council postpones vote on billboard ban

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously today on the contentious issue of billboard expansion. KPCC's Cheryl Devall says it's not the vote people on either side of the matter had hoped for.

Cheryl Devall: Now that L.A.'s elected Carmen Trutanich as its next city attorney, the city council has decided to let him review a proposed moratorium on new billboards and digital billboard conversions when he takes office in July.

A temporary ban on new billboards and supergraphics – ads that wrap around multi-story buildings – runs out next month. The city council is expected to extend that ban to September, when it's scheduled to vote again.

The unanimous decision to put off a final decision until September disappointed people who testified for three hours on the free speech, commercial, and aesthetic implications of limiting billboard expansion.

Anti-sign forces object to a provision that would designate 21 "sign districts" to accommodate new billboards in areas including the L.A. International Airport corridor and Hollywood. Outdoor advertising companies don't like the fines that plan would charge for every violation of the ordinance.