The Newport City Council was told by a number of residents Monday night they think that alernating electronic LED signage should not be allowed in all commercial and industrial zones in the city. They claimed that the signs are too bright and too distractive for motorists – a safety hazard.
However, a Walgreens spokesman said the signs are more efficient that regular signs with manual lettering. They can be programmed not only for sales but also for community announcements for school, youth sports, law enforcement, just to name a few.
City councilors said they appreciated the arguments and then told staff to work closely with Walgreens to come up with an LED sign format the town could live with – like no “in your face” type bright signs, but allowing screen changes every five minutes. Some thought that interval is too long. One changing LED sign in Newport that is already operating is a credit union on North 101. Their sign changes every five seconds, A few on the council also suggested that all outdoor LED signs be turned off at the end of the business day, however it remains to be seen whether that suggestion makes it through the re-review process.
The council told staff to provide them with a final version of the ordinance, which would include both industrial and commercially zoned property throughout the city.