April 2, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Introduces Sign Ordinance Amendment To Address Changing Technology In Dynamic Image And Video Display Signs

Mayor’s Press Office

New dynamic image and video display signs proposed in Chicago neighborhoods would be subject  to new regulatory requirements under a proposed amendment to the sign ordinance submitted to City Council today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The amendment includes provisions to address location, illumination, and operational aspects of new dynamic and video display signs proposed
throughout the city.
Dynamic image and video display signs include signs that automatically change face or have moving text or images.
Except for areas in which the principal use is a sports stadium, the proposal would prohibit:

  • On-premise dynamic image display signs within 100 feet of any residential zoning districtor any public park with an area of two acres or more.
  • Off-premise dynamic image display signs within 125 feet of any R, B1 or B2 Districts or within 100 feet of any public park with an area of 2 acres or more.
  • Video display signs in all zoning districts.

The new regulations would also set maximum light emission levels for daytime and nighttime hours; require signs to be equipped with an automatic dimmer or other control device; and require both on-premise and off-premise dynamic image display signs to be turned off between midnight and 5 a.m., with the exception of on-premise signs where the business is open for patrons.
To further enhance regulation, the proposal would set the time when a dynamic image display sign face can change to no more than once every 10 seconds; and require that dynamic image display signs be equipped to automatically shut-off or go black in the event of malfunction.

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