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Electronic Sign Law Gets Mixed Reviews

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An ordinance approved this week by city councilors that includes a ban on new electronic signs on Unser and parts of Coors drew mixed reactions from West Siders.

Some West Side residents hailed the ban as saving their neighborhood from an influx of new signs. Others wanted the ban to cover the entire length of Coors Boulevard.

The ordinance the City Council approved Monday sets limits on the brightness of electronic signs, moving images and other characteristics.

It includes an amendment proposed by West Side Councilor Dan Lewis that bans any new electronic signs on all of Unser and on Coors from the Calabacillas Arroyo north of Irving to St. Joseph’s and from Central south to the city limits.

“With two major arterial roads that extend the length of the city on the West Side, I think we went a long way to consider the neighbors and residents of the West Side,” Lewis said Wednesday.

But the protections fell short of the total ban on new electronic signs for all of Coors that fellow West Side Councilor Ken Sanchez had hoped for.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Sanchez said. “One of the crown jewels of our city is the magnificent views from the West Side looking across the city.”

Sanchez proposed an alternative amendment to add Coors and Unser to the list of “view corridors” already in the ordinance that included Alameda, Rio Grande, Griegos and Tramway. The amendment failed, as did a proposal by ordinance sponsor Councilor Isaac Benton to ban new signs on Coors except for the Cottonwood Mall area.

Benton eventually supported Lewis’ amendment. Sanchez voted against it, and the entire ordinance.

“I couldn’t support it without the view corridors being fully protected,” Sanchez said.

West Side residents appear divided, too.

Ventana Ranch resident Norita Blood emailed Lewis to thank him for his efforts.

“Let us keep the vistas clear of signage and provide lovely views that don’t distract drivers,” Blood wrote.

Taylor Ranch Neighborhood Association President David Waters said he personally thought the protections offered by Lewis’ amendment were a good compromise. But he acknowledged several of the association board members were upset that the ban didn’t cover all of Coors.

“We got something. It’s like anything in politics,” Waters said.
— This article appeared on page 1 of the West Side Journal