A new Philadelphia billboard bill has passed a City Council Committee.  The bill would legalize all existing billboards and permit conversion of some to brighter digital displays.  The bill was sponsored by Councilman Bobby Henon.   According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, billboard representatives complained about a proposed boost in annual license fees from $50 to $315.  Some community groups are criticizing the bill.  Amy Hillier, an associate professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, testified that the bill would “protect illegal billboards knowingly constructed against Philadelphia’s sign code,” testified.  This was disputed by the billboard representative.

Philadelphia City Council’s Rules Committee approved the bill unanimously and sent it to the Council floor.  It is likely to be passed by City Council.