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Philadelphia Lawmakers Move Forward On New Rules For Commercial Signs

(KYW Newsradio got a new sign atop its Independence Mall studios in September 2012.  File photo by John McDevitt)

(KYW Newsradio got a new sign atop its Independence Mall studios in September 2012. File photo by John McDevitt)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The devil is in the details, and that proved true this morning in a Philadelphia City Council committee.

The lawmakers updated regulations on outdoor signs but put off a vote on the controversial issue of billboards.

Council’s Rules committee approved a thick stack of changes to the zoning code related to what is called “accessory signs” — signs related directly to the businesses at the site.

City commerce director Alan Greenberger says the changes streamline and update what had been a hodgepodge of rules.

“It’s been sorted out, rationalized,” he says of the new set of rules.  “It acknowledges new realities (and) makes things easier for businesses to deal with their signs.”

But the committee delayed its debate and vote on the more controversial matter of non-accessory signs such as billboards.

Councilman Bill Greenlee warned opponents and supporters of billboards that compromise will be needed.

“Eventually this committee is going to pass a bill.  It’s not that we’re putting this away and we’re going to forget about it.  We’re going to pass a bill,” he said.

Greenlee hopes passage of the legislation will come in January.

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