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West Valley Focus

AGOURA HILLS : State Funds Sought to Remove Billboards

July 08, 1993|KURT PITZER

Agoura Hills officials hope to receive about $1.9 million from the state to thin a cluster of billboards along the Ventura Freeway that have been in place since the community was little more than a truck stop between Los Angeles and points north and west.

The proposal to remove at least half of the 18 billboards between Kanan and Chesebro roads was included in a list of 60 projects submitted last week to Caltrans by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said MTA project manager Peter De Haan. The California Transportation Commission is expected to grant funds in December for many of the projects, he said.

The city would be required to come up with about $228,000 in matching funds to buy the signs and remove them, a process that would cost about $200,000 per sign and take place over the next five years, said Agoura Hills Senior Planner Mike Kamino.

Most of the signs are owned by the billboard companies and have been in place since the 1960s.

The proposal comes as part of a larger effort to clear high-profile advertisements from the city.

State law treats billboards as though they are businesses, a provision that requires cities to buy the signs to have them removed, said Agoura Hills Deputy City Atty. Christi Hogin. Two competing measures on the Nov. 2 ballot deal with a city ordinance requiring area businesses to remove their towering signs on poles.

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