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Nationals Park may install five LED billboards on exterior

Opponents worry billboards may proliferate across the city if the legislation is passed

Nationals Park Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Carol M. Highsmith

Earlier this week, the D.C. Council advanced legislation that will allow five electronic billboards to be installed on the facade of Nationals Park in Navy Yard. The final vote for the bill isn’t until December 20 with hopes to install the billboards by the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The sizes of the signs vary around 38 by 25 feet to 25 by 20 feet.

According to Washington City Paper, the latest version of the legislation makes it so that the D.C. Council must approve signs before they are installed in any new "designated entertainment area."

Washington City Paper further reported that some of the conditions that come with the LED signs include that they must not exceed a certain brightness level, must not be in the line of sight of nearby homes, and must not face South Capitol Street SE or the Anacostia River. Despite these conditions, those in the Navy Yard community still argue that the billboards could lower home values.

In order to prevent the proliferation of billboards in the neighborhood, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, who proposed the legislation, hopes to create a “regulatory framework” that will be administered by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. This framework will require that billboards only be installed in “designated entertainment areas” or “places bustling enough,” according to the Washington City Paper.

One opponent of the signs is Chair of ANC 6D Andy Litsky, who told the Washington City Paper in November 2016, “Shaw better watch out. East of the river, with the Wizards practice arena, better watch out.”

Neighbors Warn LED Billboards Proposed for Nats Park Could Proliferate District-wide [Washington City Paper]

D.C. Council Paves Way for Digital Billboards on Exterior of Nationals Park [Washington City Paper]