TOYOTA PROPOSAL FOR ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD IN SANTEE RAISES OBJECTIONS

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By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2013 (Santee) – An environmental group has lodged a formal complaint over a proposed electronic billboard in Santee, contending that the sign violates city laws and further, should require an environmental review.

The LEC-powered video billboard proposed by a Toyota dealership would stand 70 feet tall and be 321 square feet in size.  It would tower above the junction of highways 125 and 52.

The city found that no environmental review is required. But now Scenic San Diego, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving scenic views, has filed a formal objection.  The group says the project directly violates city municipal codes, which specifically prohibit flashing signs, except for time and temperature information.  The sign is also 26 feet taller than allowed by current law and nearly four times the square footage.

The group says that studies have found digital billboards contribute to driver distraction and could endanger motorists. 

The location includes views over the San Diego River Park and Mission Trails, with distant views of Cuyamaca and the Laguna Mountains.

Van Collinsworth with Preserve Wild Santee voiced this concern in a comment posted at Santee Patch. “The billboard would get quite a setting to stick up its sore thumb,” he said, then asked, “and how many more would follow?”