Billboard proponents are trying to sway city officials in Park Ridge, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, with an offer of a payment of impact and licensing fees in exchange for the right to erect four 80 foot signs along I-294. The fees could generate in excess of $500,000 over twenty years.
But the mayor is spot on that limited financial benefits that can be gained from allowing billboards is not worth the price of diminished community character. The mayor noted that Planning and Zoning voted unanimously against the proposal, and that the fees would do little for the city over the long run. Of course, as the legal wrangling in Los Angeles instructs, Park Ridge likely would be sued by other billboard companies trying to get in on the action if the proposal were approved.