Ordinance Could Bring More Billboards to Downtown Minneapolis

December 27, 2017 09:20 PM

Minnesotans may begin to see more billboards in part of downtown Minneapolis.

This is because the city is considering a change to the zoning code that would expand the downtown entertainment billboard district.

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But not everyone is in favor of the idea. 

"This isn't the Las Vegas Strip," said Joe Tamburino, Chairman of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association.

Right now, billboards are allowed on Target Center, US. Bank Stadium and parts of Hennepin Avenue.Tamburino that's enough.

"Yes we have part of an entertainment district but Washington Avenue is not an entertainment district," Tamburino said. 

The ordinance introduced by Councilmember Abdi Warsame calls for "expanding the district and allowing for larger signs". Billboards would then be allowed on the south side of Sixth Street South and the west side of Park Avenue from Sixth Street South to Fourth Street South, near U.S. Bank Stadium. The amendment would also allow for signs to be painted on building walls along the south side of Washington Avenue.

"We want downtown to thrive, but we don't want to cheapen it," Tamburino said. 

This comes just before the city is set to host one of the biggest events of the year: the Super Bowl. But Tamburino fears it will have lasting effects.

"It's not just going to be 10 days before and 10 days after the Super Bowl," Tamburino said. "If you change the law it's forever changed."

Incoming Ward 3 council member Steve Fletcher tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he's been listening to the public on these billboard concerns, and wants to take a second look at what this amendment is accomplishing.

Tamburino is upset because he says the city hasn't communicated anything to them. 

"We're just trying to live our lives in this neighborhood, and we feel completely disrespected by the city," Tamburino said. 

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association plans to discuss the issue at their next meeting on January 2nd. The city will talk about it at the next planning commission meeting on January 8th. 
 

Credits

Brett Hoffland

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