Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Other Random Pearls of Wisdom from Yesterday's Council Workshop

Here are some other points floating around my memory that did not work their way into my foregoing narrative on last night's LED workshop:
  • One neighborhood advocate actually looked up the legal definition of "cultural centers" (listed with churches, schools, and recreation centers in the LED bill) that would be permitted under the new law to have LED signs. She maintained that it would include just about any entrepreneurial non-profit organization.
  • Another opponent pointed to the presupposition underlying Mr. Tygard's bill that churches should be able to compete with Walgreens on the sign front. He then asked, "How will Walgreens respond to outdo churches with LEDs?" My aside: Walgreens would put more money into Bobby Joslin's pockets to make even bigger signs, which the churches will then covet themselves. It really could become a cycle, most vicious for neighborhoods.
  • Another opponent pointed to the camel's nose being let under the tent with the LED bill: while sponsors argued that streaming video's would not be allowed under the ordinance, there was nothing to stop some future LED bill from allowing that, too.
  • An association president pointed out, after Bobby Joslin acknowledged that old-style internally lit church signs are all white and LEDs are red and amber, that there is a profound difference between having an unchanging white light from across the road shining in your window and a vivid red and amber sign that animates, changes, streams, and generally never recedes into the background because it lacks the old-style constancy.
  • Under this bill, the new LEDs could be no closer than 200 feet apart. In many higher density urban neighborhoods that could work out to a streaming LED every 4th or 5th property. Yikes!
  • I cannot get that comment from CM Jim Hodge (that churches have to choose between lying to the Board of Zoning Appeals and failing to get approved for LEDs) off my mind. It's nagging me. What's unsettling my waters is the question of why a church would be tempted to break one of its own prescribed commandments just for the sake of a flashier sign? I mean, I can understand struggling to decide whether to lie in order to save someone's life or to avoid hurting somebody's feelings. But, really. How strong can their commitment to obey their commandments be if they're tempted to lie merely in order to keep up with the Publix?

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