Joliet eyes new sites for electronic signs
By bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org August 1, 2013 9:41PM
This Impact Outdoor electronic sign outside of the Louis Joliet Mall mixes private advertising with public service messages. | Bob Okon~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2013 7:18AM
JOLIET — Three alternative locations have been proposed for electronic signs that are part of a city-approved program and will mix private advertising with public service messages.
The new sites, which will be reviewed by the city zoning board of appeals Aug. 15, would replace others that faced opposition for aesthetic reasons and concerns that they could be too distracting to drivers.
The new locations are part of Impact Outdoor’s plan, launched in early 2012, to install as many as a dozen electronic signs around the city. Only two signs are up so far.
A second company has proposed an electronic sign on Collins Street, which would be the first East Side location. The zoning board also will review that proposal.
City Councilman Terry Morris, who heads the council’s land use committee, said a sign at Collins Street and Woodruff Road would be helpful “as far as getting information out to the public.” The committee has recommended approval of the four sign locations to the full council.
While electronic signs have become increasingly common, they typically are attached to a business. The signs in the city program stand alone and mix advertising for a variety of businesses with announcements about city events and other public service messages.
The Impact Outdoor signs are mounted on city monument stones, reflecting the private-public partnership with Joliet. The city prohibits certain kinds of ads on the signs, including political messages.
All three of the new sites proposed by Impact Outdoor are in heavily commercial areas and replace ones that had been opposed, in part, because they were considered too close to residential neighborhoods. The three sites are at the northwest corner of Jefferson Street and Larkin Avenue, where a White Castle restaurant is located; the northeast corner of Houbolt Road and Riverboat Center Boulevard, where a BP gas station is located; and the southeast corner of Mall Loop Drive and Colorado Avenue near the main entrance of the Louis Joliet Mall and outside of the Ashley Furniture store.
The mall site would be the second electronic sign outside the mall. The other is at the Essington Road entry to the mall area at Hennepin Drive.
The proposed locations replace those that were planned for Six Corners (intersection of Plainfield Road, Raynor Avenue and Black Road); Center and Marion streets; and Black and Bronk roads.
While only two signs have been erected so far, Impact Outdoor recently received a building permit for a third one at Essington and Black roads that should go up soon, Jim Torri, a city planner, said.