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Debate over digital signage continues in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

An old debate between two Ottawa City Council members came back up Tuesday night.

Public Safety Commissioner Ed Whitney and Mayor Bob Eschbach remain at odds on businesses in and around downtown putting up LED, or scrolling message board signs.  After getting their old sign that wasn’t digital damaged by a delivery truck, Papa Johns officials asked the city for a digital sign.  Because the city has an ordinance against these types of signs in the downtown district, the Zoning Board of Appeals denied the pizza joint’s request.

The council though tabled its decision, wanting to see if they could work with Papa Johns to find an alternative.  Whitney argues that they shouldn’t need an alternative saying digital signs bring more attention to businesses.  He accused Eschbach of going against businesses since the mayor has long been against the scrolling message boards.

Eschbach led the charge to exclude digital signs from downtown Ottawa after JJ’s Pub was allowed to put one up before the new sign ordinance took effect.

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