Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 | 10:37 p.m.
Billboards in Clark County could be getting a little more sparkle, as the County Commission voted Wednesday to allow owners to convert them to digital displays.
In addition to approving a new ordinance that allows the digital conversion of billboards beginning March 2, the Clark County Board of County Commissioners voted to set a flat fee of $10,000 for digital conversion. The fee applies regardless of whether the conversion happened before it was permitted by county code or if it happens after March 2.
Punitive fines as high as $50,000 for digital conversion prior to its allowance by code had been considered by the board. Billboard owners who turned their signs digital prior to Clark County allowing the technological alteration will not have to shell out any more cash than those who make the conversion now that is allowed by code.
Included in the approved ordinance are provisions to safeguard residents from any ill effects that may be felt by the conversions.
Lighting levels will have to be monitored and control will have to be maintained over the screen in the event of a malfunction.
Additionally, the boards will not be permitted in residentially zoned areas and must be obscured from view of single family residential developments in order to be allowed to be converted.
Attorney Jennifer Lazovich, who was representing Lamar, Olympia and Clear Channel outdoor advertisers, said the approved ordinance will allow the advertising companies to keep up with technology.
She said the conversions can promote public safety in that the digital signs can be used for Amber Alerts and similar public notice functions.