city of San Antonio

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File #: 19-7970   
Type: City Code Amendments
In control: City Council A Session
On agenda: 11/7/2019
Posting Language: Ordinance amending Chapter 28, Signs, of the City Code of San Antonio, Texas, which will allow for digital faces to be installed on both sides of an existing billboard structure. [Roderick Sanchez, Assistant City Manager; Michael Shannon, Director, Development Services]
Attachments: 1. Draft Ordinance, 2. Ordinance 2019-11-07-0910
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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DEPARTMENT: Development Services

DEPARTMENT HEAD: Michael Shannon



Proposed Changes to San Antonio City Code Chapter 28 - Sign Code regarding Digital Billboards


City Council will consider a proposed update to the City's Chapter 28 Sign Code which will allow an additional digital billboard within the City.


In the 1980s, there were around 2,300 billboards within the San Antonio City limits and, over time, that number has decreased to around 1,200 billboards. Additional billboards are prohibited within the City and in order to relocate a billboard, two billboards must be removed. Similarly, new digital billboards are prohibited within the City and the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).

In 2007, the City authorized a one-year pilot program for digital billboards that allowed for up to 15 off- premises digital billboards (Ordinance No. 2007-12-06-1247). However, permits for only 13 digital billboards were issued and installed during the one-year pilot program, each having only one side of the billboards as digitals. In general, three signs were removed for each re-face (i.e., a 3 to 1 takedown ratio). Overall, 83 billboards were removed during the 2007 digital billboard pilot program. Until September 2019, City code did not allow any new off-premises digital signs to be permitted in the city or the ETJ. The 13 existing digital billboards are required to follow minimum safety standards including minimum dwell time of 10 seconds, the change of message has to be within 1 second or less, default freeze mechanism (in case of malfunction), and may not display light of such intensity or brilliance to cause glare or impair vision of drivers.

In September 2019, City Council approved a change to the City's sign code that allowed digital faces to be added to the backside of the 13 existing digital billboards by removing an estimated 300 junior billboards as well as removal of some...

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