House passes electronic billboard measure

SALT LAKE CITY — A House bill approved Tuesday would pave the way for billboards across the state to become electronic.

“I think it’s only right that we allow our billboard industry to keep up with changes in technology,” said Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, sponsor of HB87.

Electronic billboards have been a hot topic on the Hill. Some cities, particularly Salt Lake City, have seen the measure as an intrusion on their policies. Salt Lake City placed a moratorium on new electronic billboards last year.

Brown said the bill would not preclude cities and counties from managing the number and placement of billboards. It would allow them to set curfews on electronic billboards on surface streets. The state would regulate signs on the freeways.

The bill also spells out how local governments may use eminent domain to remove and relocate billboards, including negotiating placement and setting values with arbitration.

HB87 passed 55-16 without debate. It now goes to the Senate.

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