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Rumble At Hollywood's Blvd6200! Developer, Billlboard Company Fight Over Signs*

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Construction hasn't even started at Blvd6200, developer Clarett's enormous Hollywood Boulevard mixed-use project, but we know now that it'll probably be covered in supergraphics. In April, the Central Area Planning Commission (CPC) approved a sign plan for the site that paves the way for several supergraphics, a move that required an exception to the site plan (to allow more ad space than the sign district regulations allow). Clarett agreed to restrain itself to seven supergraphics, and cashed in sign credits from a sign reduction program that lets owners in the Hollywood Sign District trade in billboards for supergraphics or other signs. Clarett was awarded 12,655 square feet of credits for removing six billboards along Hollywood Boulevard. * Image updated, but this still may be an older rendering

That annoyed Regency Outdoor Advertising Inc., which owns the billboards and claims that 12,096 square feet of that credit is theirs. They filed a lawsuit over the dispute, as well as an appeal to the plan exception and approval made by the CAPC.

On Tuesday, Planning and Land Use Management Committee denied Regency’s appeal, but also said that this is really a matter between the sign companies and that the city shouldn't get involved. Regardless, the appeal will now be heard by the City Council. (Meanwhile, the courts will decide who gets the sign credit.)

Dennis Hathaway of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight thinks that if the credits were eventually given to Regency, it could alter the developer/signage symbiosis--Regency would be able to set how much revenue Clarett got from the signs, which could be a lot less than what Clarett was planning on making off them.

He also thinks that "sign reduction" program in the Hollywood Sign District is a sham, for two reasons: "Those Regency billboards would have had to go in any event, because the site was to be cleared for the new development," he writes in an email. "Two, giving 2 sq. ft. of credit for supergraphic signs in exchange for removing 1 sq. ft. of billboard is sign 'proliferation' and calling it 'reduction' is nothing less than Orwellian 'newspeak'."

He adds: "If the city was serious about sign control, it would let these billboards disappear through attrition instead of enabling a two-for-one increase of commercial advertising in the visual landscape of the area."
· Hollywood RevitalizationWatch: Where's 6200 Blvd? [Curbed LA]
· Report from Area Planning Commission (APC)/ Central [LA City Clerk Connect]
· The Hollywood Sign District: An (Un)Natural Disaster [Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight]