Don't know what to tell you -- certainly didn't think we'd be into our third item about that Woodall Rodgers billboard. But Frank Librio, the city's spokesman, has, as he promised last night, looked into how it got there; so too Morgan Lyons, Dallas Area Rapid Transit's chief talker. So, finally, we get some resolution -- some.
By way of background, Lyons says, yup, it was indeed once planted near a DART line -- has been since 1969, when it first went into the ground at 1100 Routh Street. But five years ago, Green Line construction necessitated its needing to go elsewhere -- and somehow, Clear Channel Outdoor decided to plant it a few feet away from Woodall Rodgers, with the city's okee-doke.
Which brings us to the larger question: Is its placement a violation of Dallas City Code and other ordinances? No! Yes! Wait, what? Fact is, the city doesn't really seem all that sure. This is The Official Statement From City Hall, which Librio just sent:
The City of Dallas has a relocation ordinance that allows existing billboards which must be removed due to a governmental action to be relocated to another location. The ordinance controlling setbacks requires the billboard to be at least 40 feet from the nearest travel lane. However, access ramps are not considered travel lanes. The ordinance specifies that the billboard must be set back at least 5 feet from the property line. This sign meets that minimum setback. Based on those ordinance provisions, the billboard was permitted by the City.Access ramps are not considered travel lanes.
However there are other questions that have arisen. Staff has engaged Clear Channel in discussions concerning another controlling ordinance -- known as the Downtown Special Provision Sign District. There are some issues regarding the interpretation of that ordinance that might also impact this location. Clear Channel has been and continues to be a cooperative and responsive business operator. We will continue to work with Clear Channel until all questions and issues concerning this location are resolved to both parties satisfaction.
Librio also sent three docs that follow, for those needing further satisfaction: DART's letter to Clear Channel informing them they will need to relocate the billboard due to construction of the Green Line, a copy of the new billboard permit and the sign relocation ordinance. Now where'd I put my blunt?