With all the recent commotion surrounding UEDs (lots of information on those here), it’s been easy to forget about the billboard battles going on elsewhere in Philadelphia.
Today, the Judges of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania released their opinions on the Franklin Institute’s proposed installment of a digital billboard-type sign along the historic and scenic Ben Franklin Parkway. Unfortunately, the majority of the judges found that Scenic Philadelphia and the area’s neighbors had no standing in challenging the ZBA’s variance granted for the sign.
We will continue to fight this decision, and anticipate taking it to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. We believe that all Philadelphians, especially those who cross the already-dangerous parkway by foot or use its numerous recreational facilities on a regular basis, ought to have standing on a decision that will so adversely affect one of our nation’s most grand boulevards.
In her opinion, the Honorable Judge Leadbetter wrote, “I would allow standing to citizens of the City, not because they are taxpayers, but because they are the intended beneficiaries of this beautiful civic treasure and they would truly be aggrieved if it were to be spoiled.” We agree wholeheartedly with Judge Leadbetter, and hope that the Judges on the Supreme Court see it her way as well.