Video billboards coming to Kyle?

A “wait and see” mentality is how Kyle city leaders are approaching a property owner’s application to alter the Central Texas Speedway billboard to allow on-premise, full-motion video advertising.

Kyle business and property owner Rick Coleman applied for eligibility with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to alter the CTS billboard.

During the Kyle City Council Nov. 1 meeting, City Manager Scott Sellers presented city billboard requirements to gauge councilmembers’ opnions about having additional authority and control over the on-premise billboard requirements for displaying full-motion advertising.

Current Kyle ordinance adopts state standards on off-premise advertising.

The TxDOT standard on billboard LED signage states that for off-premise advertising with a rotating display, images can change once every eight seconds.

There is currently two LED billboards within Kyle city limits located on the Interstate 35 access road near EVO. In Kyle, with every sixth image on the LED billboard, the city can present an image of its own.

However, the CTS billboard is on Speedway’s property, which allows Coleman the right to use on-premise advertising, which is under city ordinance, as opposed to off-premise advertising, which is under state control.

But whether or not the city would be willing to adopt a standard allowing Coleman to use full-video advertising for on-premise advertising remains to be seen.

Council on Nov. 1 discussed the topic.

The effect of a full-video billboard on public safety was a topic that continuously kept coming up.

One council member noted how “extraordinarily distracting” he believes LED signs are to drivers.

When asked about the data regarding the connection between traffic safety and LED billboards, Sellers said that it was “all over the place” and “essentially inconclusive.” 

Councilmembers asked Sellers his opinion on the matter, and he said he believes that the city should adopt a standard that would allow on-premise, full-video advertising.

Council member David Wilson, who agreed with Sellers, said he would be in favor of allowing on-premise full-video advertising because he wants to be supportive of local businesses.

“They’ve been handicapped by their cheesy sign,” Wilson said. “It really hasn’t attracted the kind of attention that a high-quality racing venue deserves and I think they deserve our support.”

Not all council members were in agreement. 

Council Member Travis Mitchell said that he was sympathetic to local business owners, but he would not be in favor of allowing the billboard.

“If I was him, I would be wanting to do the same thing,” Mitchell said. “But me, as a councilman, I don’t want billboards. I don’t want powerlines. I want a clean city.”

Council took no action on Nov. 1. However, if TxDOT issued the necessary permits, and there were no additional costs on Coleman’s behalf, council would allow the on-premise full-video advertising for a provisional period to see the positive and negative effects the sign had on the city and its citizens.

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