Parking Authority Billboards That Have Some Residents Alarmed

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority will ask the zoning board, Wednesday afternoon, for permission to put up six-by-12 foot billboards in 11 of its lots and garages, including some near parks and homes, and that has some people alarmed.

Jake Liefer of 5th Square says that normally, when a property owner wants to install a billboard, there’s a whole community hearing process but, in this case, the Parking Authority skirted that requirement and is heading straight to the Zoning Board for permission.

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“There’s not a whole lot of information they’re providing,” said Leifer. “They’ve tried to kind of go under the radar with this but the risk here is that there are no limitations on what they can build.”

Fifth Square obtained documents that say the billboards may be illuminated, for instance. The Parking Authority thinks concerns are overblown.

Spokesman Marty O’Rourke says smaller signs were taken down recently and the Authority is seeking permission for bigger ones.

“Signage in the lots have been there for decades and they have helped defray the costs of the maintenance of these neighborhood lots,” he said.

O’Rourke says the income will continue to be used that way and will not be shared with the city and school district.

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