July 20, 2024

Cocoabar21 Clinton

Truly Business

Dark sky issues crop up in Utah Senate monthly bill allowing for electronic billboards

4 min read
During the Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting on February 2, 2021, Scenic Utah Director Kate Kopischke gives public comment on S.B. 61 on outdoor advertising.

A bill in the Utah Senate is fomenting controversy about business legal rights, governmental reach and environmental fears, all centered about electronic billboards.

S.B. 61, sponsored by Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, would prohibit community municipalities or counties from preventing enterprise entrepreneurs from modifying their present billboards into electronic or mechanical types.

But this bill has turned from a personal sector amendment to a community lands issue for some who argue electronic billboards have the prospective to ruin Utah’s dark sky spots, while other critics say it raises problems about a decline of neighborhood control.

On Feb. 2, the bill was introduced prior to the Senate Business and Labor Standing Committee and been given about an hour of discussion after substituting the primary invoice.

“This bill was primarily about equality in the advertising and marketing area,” Sandall reported.

He said cities are not allowing business homeowners to alter their boards to electrical billboards, which “seems unfair to me, like we are keeping an market again whose company it is to market but we are enabling other folks to use the engineering.”

Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist during a meeting in the commission chambers in St. George on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Nonetheless, opponents to the invoice consider it is anything but an equality difficulty.

Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist reported the bill is a slippery slope and “this hard work has zero to do with fairness.”

“I am additional from billboards than I am against Satan,” he claimed to The Spectrum.

Moreover, Washington County and southern Utah are household to dozens of dim sky regions, with all countrywide parks but Zion becoming certified dark sky parks. Utah as a full has 21 dim sky sites, with a few new parks becoming a member of that checklist in mid-January.

During the Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting on February 2, 2021, Senator Scott Sandall (R-Tremonton) introduces his bill S.B. 61 on outdoor advertising.

Advocates like Cassidy Jones, outreach and engagement manager for the National Parks Conservation Affiliation and a member of the Utah chapter of the Worldwide Darkish-Sky Association, are opposed to digitizing billboards and including a lot more mild to dim sky places.

“Digitizing billboards across Utah is simply not in alignment with safeguarding this diminishing purely natural asset,” Jones mentioned.

As tourism is a large part of Utah’s economic climate, some are anxious about how adding gentle to these locations could harm the tourism marketplace.

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