Wednesday, September 19, 2012
McHenry County Board Puts Hold On Electronic Billboards
Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake and Lakewood all asked the Board to stop approving big electronic signs until it approves a new Unified Development Ordinance expected in December or January. Apparently trying to beat the clock, Billboard companies have submitted half a dozen applications for LED signs in McHenry County just outside their jurisdictions. One's already approved for Algonquin Road west of Pyott Road and another's pending on Route 31 north of Cary Algonquin Road.
District Three Member Barb Wheeler, Crystal Lake, argued there was no public safety reason for a moratorium. "Even our own IDOT on highways has these electrical lights that pan across te h high with public safety messages," she said.
But District Four Member Peter Merkel, Mchenry, said there was certainly a property value question at stake pointing to a new LED sign that popped up at Bull Valley Road and Route 31, slated for important commercial development. "Now we're stuck with the eyesore," he said.
The vote to halt new electronic sign approvals until either the new UDO's in place or next April at the latest was 13 to 8 but it didn't mean there was that much support for light-up billboards. The moratorium measure also included skipping the Board's usual 30-day review period and a few members like District Three's Mary Donner, Crystal Lake, said they'd rather have had some time to think about it.