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Property Lines - Scott Olson

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Real Estate & Retail

Zoning board denies new digital sign for IBJ Media

March 3, 2010

IBJ signA city planning board has denied a request from IBJ Media Corp. for a new sign including a small variable-message component outside its headquarters at 41 E. Washington St. The 4-1 vote Tuesday by a Board of Zoning Appeals means the company will have to wait at least a year to apply again unless it challenges the decision in court, said John Bartholomew, a Department of Metropolitan Development spokesman. The parent company of Indianapolis Business Journal filed plans for the sign late last year and has made several changes to the sign's color and size at the request of city planners. But the company could not win support for the 3-foot-by-5-foot variable-message screen, designed to scroll headlines from the newspaper. Such signs were banned by urban-design guidelines adopted in 2008 over concerns about urban feel and sign clutter. In its application, IBJ cited scrolling digital signs outside the headquarters of the Indianapolis Star and Emmis Communications, approved before the rules took effect. "We did it so we could compete the way they do, with street-level messaging," said IBJ Media CFO Jeff Basch. He said it is possible IBJ will proceed without the variable-messaging portion. An earlier post is here.

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