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County Approves ‘Jumbotrons’ Near Metro Stations

by Ethan Rothstein — December 18, 2013 at 10:45 am 1,412 0

The WJLA building in Rosslyn(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) “Jumbotrons” will now be allowed on commercial buildings in mixed-use districts near Metro stations.

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the measure Tuesday evening, which would allow developers to build large media screens if approved through the site plan or use permit process.

The screens can be up to 40 feet in height with a total maximum area of 750 square feet. The screens cannot be within 2,000 feet of one another and are only permitted within a quarter-mile of a transit station and in “public service districts,” which includes some parks. No screens will be allowed on Columbia Pike.

The screens will also not be able to be used as advertisements.

“Only non-commercial content such as art, community events, news and public information are permitted,” Arlington County said in a press release.

There had been community concern when the issue was raised last month that the screens would be put near residential areas, but the change in the Zoning Ordinance requires considerations to be made about proximity to residences, as well as potential traffic hazards.

“Jumbotrons help promote economic activity,” County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a statement. “They will make the commercial areas in our Metro corridors more lively and visually interesting. Importantly, the screens also will be available for the County to display information about community events and emergency announcements.”

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