TOUGHER RULES: Des Moines Electronic Billboards

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Electronic billboards are meant to attract attention, but at Monday’s Des Moines City Council meeting they were in the cross hairs.

"Some of those billboards are less than 100 feet from residential property lines, so people look out their back window and what do they see? A sign 50 or 60 feet up in the air looming over their back yard,” Jason Pulliam said.

Electronic billboards across Des Moines have drawn the ire of many residents and Tuesday, the city council took a small step toward placing tougher regulations on them.

The proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance is the latest step in the long, complicated process of regulating billboards and pole signs in the city.

The council voted to advance the amendment but said that it needs some changes before it returns for its second reading. Some council members said that smaller electronic signs should not be subject to new regulations.

"I’m supportive of the overall ordinance. However, I think that we really need to carve out the component, the piece that deals with the smaller signs." Councilor Christine Hensley said.

The amendment will likely be brought up for a second reading early this summer.