Owner of Controversial Digital Billboard Proposes Solution

Photo courtesy of Michaelle Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer.

In an effort to address complaints over the invasive light generated by its digital billboard, Catalyst Outdoor Advertising has come up with a fix to eliminate some of the glow, writes Michaelle Bond for Philly.com.

The controversial 672 square foot, two sided electronic sign, situated on the Route 30 Bypass by Downingtown, has been disturbing residents. Light from the billboard shines directly into nearby homes.

“We were told they would not be impacted. And that’s clearly not the case,” said Downingtown Borough Council member, Phil Dague. “I cannot help but feel we were misled.”

To rectify the situation, Patrick Wolfington, a partner at Catalyst and his associate Tim Earle presented a solution that was accepted by Downingtown Council at its meeting on Wednesday night. Their remedy is to plant 35 fast growing evergreens at a total cost of around $50,000 which they believe will block residents’ views of the offending sign.

The trees will be 20 feet tall when planted and will grow to 40 feet as they mature. However, not all residents feel that this is enough to completely block the view, as particularly for homes on a hill, the height may be insufficient.

Council Member, Ann Feldman, and several other resident proposed that the side of the sign facing homes be turned off until the planting is complete, but Mark Thompson, the Borough’s solicitor, pointed out that the Council does not have the right to shut down part of the sign. Instead, the Council has asked Catalyst for a timeframe on when they can begin planting.

Read more about the proposal at Philly.com here and check out previous Vista Today coverage of the billboard here.

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