Oral arguments will be made to the Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 regarding the Zoning Board’s questionable decision to issue a variance allowing this illegal and non-conforming billboard to be converted to digital.
Callowhill Neighbors, the Chinese Christian Church, adjacent residents, and Scenic Philadelphia have appealed the variance which would have a detrimental impact on nearby residents and the Church members. The billboard towers over the Callowhill neighborhoods and is in the Gateway to the Reading Viaduct.
The Public is invited to attend the court hearing in City Hall on April 29th. Location: City Hall, Courtroom 426 Time: April 29 at 10 AM.
Citing concerns in a letter of opposition to the ZBA, Councilman Squilla wrote that the digital billboard would have a negative impact on the neighborhood, future development of the Reading Viaduct, and the continued residential growth of this area. He made a powerful plea against this permit, stating that “the conversion of this sign to a double sided, bright, rapidly flashing billboard would adversely affect the quality of life in this growing residential neighborhood,” and noting that “the billboard is extremely close to existing apartments and extremely close to the southern terminus of the Reading Viaduct, … a new elevated City park that will connect Center City to the neighborhoods north of Vine Street.”
The billboard violates federally mandated spacing requirements set forth in the Highway Beautification Act, and is in an area protected by the Vine Street Expressway overlay, which prohibits billboards in this part of the city.