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New loopholes for Los Angeles billboards and "sign districts"

A heated hearing unfolded earlier today before the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, which wants to create yet another complicated, exception-filled plan to try to control street clutter in Los Angeles, the capital of the illegal billboard industry.

Details of today's hearing will come from ace reporter Christine Pelisek, who previously told the amazing tale of how the Los Angeles City Council, without discussion or public hearings, approved 850 digital billboards so bright they glow through closed living room curtains.

This issue has grown hot, for Los Angeles. Suffice to say that the readers over at the always interesting CurbedLA, who tend to be the most pro-development blog commenters in L.A., actually hate the thickets of billboards jamming Los Angeles and the exception-filled new plan.

This movement started with a couple of very nice, semi-retired

guys over at the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight. Now the

citizenry themselves are jumping into the debate

We at L.A. Weekly are doing our best to make the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and Planning Commission cough up a real map showing the actual boundaries of the more than 20 neighborhoods in L.A. that under the new 'ban" would become heavily cluttered "sign districts" filled with giant new billboards.

The not transparent City Hall crowd spent months planning the details of today's proposed policy on billboards, supergraphics and other street clutter. Yet during all that time, city planners failed to publicly provide a map with real, detailed street boundaries to alert residents.

Encino, Studio City, Playa Vista, Westchester and about 15 other places are largely unaware that their areas are going to be targeted as Times Square-style "sign districts."

Here's the list, previously published by the Weekly, of areas the Villaraigosa Administration says are appropriate for specially designated new forests of billboards, supergraphics and other outdoor advertising:

The 20 Proposed Neighborhoods Targeted as Sign Districts:

Ballona/Playa Vista: Lincoln between Ballona Creek and Westchester
Beverly Center: Beverly Center mall and streets
Boyle Heights: Part of Cesar Chavez Boulevard
Chinatown: Most of Chinatown
Central City North: Olympic Boulevard near Soto
Century City: Avenue of the Stars
Downtown: Much of downtown
Encino: Along a huge stretch of Ventura Boulevard
Hollywood: Much of Hollywood
Koreatown: On Wilshire, a massive area about 17 city blocks long and up to three blocks wide
LAX: Most of LAX 
Miracle Mile: Roughly 15 blocks along Wilshire Boulevard
Northridge: Northridge mall and streets
Panorama City: Panorama City mall and streets
San Pedro: Shopping district
Studio City: Neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Universal City
West Adams/Baldwin Hills: Crenshaw Plaza
Warner Center: Dozens of blocks in Canoga Park along and crossing Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Westwood: Along Wilshire Boulevard

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