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          Front Page  news  metro

Council Restricts Electronic Signs

By Dan McKay
Journal Staff Writer
          Albuquerque city councilors agreed unanimously Monday to impose new limits on the approval of electronic signs and message boards through the end of June.
        The temporary limits come as the council works on a more permanent set of regulations. Councilors Isaac Benton and Dan Lewis are co-sponsoring the proposal for permanent regulations.
        Their measure would control how bright the signs can be, how rapidly they can change the images displayed and other matters. Electronic signs would be prohibited in residential and historic districts. Moving images would also be banned.
        "We need some common-sense guidelines," Lewis said.
        The proposal comes after the city convened a task force to review electronic-sign regulations. Critics, especially neighborhood leaders, have said electronic signs are distracting and a safety hazard at busy intersections.
        The council's vote Monday was technically a "moratorium" on the approval of new electronic signs through June, but there are broad exceptions to the moratorium. New signs that meet the regulations proposed by Lewis and Benton, for example, will be allowed.
        No one spoke against the measure.

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