3N Outdoor Media
By Agrippina Fadel
Roadside billboards are now allowed in Tamarac along the major highways, and the first one might be installed south of Commercial Blvd on the Turnpike by the end of the year.
Maxine Calloway, director of community development for the city, explained that in March, 3N Outdoor Media, Inc. first approached the city to gauge their interest in erecting a billboard on the city-owned right of way along the Turnpike. Staff brought the matter to the city commission on June 8, and the amendment was approved 4-1 on July 13, with Mayor Michelle Gomez voting no.
“When the company reached out to us, we told them that the code at that time prohibited billboards in the city. So, for the commission to consider their suggestion, they had to file a text amendment application and seek approval to lift that prohibition, partially or fully,” said Calloway.
During the application process, her staff looked at other municipalities as well as Florida statutes that regulate billboards and considered the size and the height of the potential signs and their placement.
The approved amendment limits the location of billboard signs to the city-owned right of way along the Sawgrass Expressway and the Florida Turnpike. The signs must be at least 150 feet away from any residential structure and a minimum of 1500 feet away from another billboard.
Calloway said that while the ordinance amendment is a partial lifting of the prohibition, it opens the door to anyone interested in leasing a property from the city and erecting a billboard. Each sign would require a separate application for a special exception and approval by the planning board and the city commission.
Controls and measures adopted by the city commission and the fact that the signs are allowed only in certain areas would ensure the billboards would not take over the landscape, disturb the environment, or serve as hazardous distractions along the roadways, she added.
The billboards would also allow the city to generate additional revenue by leasing the city-owned land to businesses and serve as an information channel in an emergency.
“The city will be able to access the billboards and send a message or get important information out to the residents, when necessary,” she said.
Eric Nadel, President of 3N Outdoor Media, Inc., said the company is working on the first billboard in Tamarac — a digital message center.
“We will use it for sponsorship purposes, but it can also be utilized for Amber Alerts, government and emergency services messages,” he explained, adding that the company hopes to install the digital sign sometime in December or January.
According to the city, no formal billboard applications have been filed as of press time.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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