Debate over digital billboards in Nicholasville

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If you travel down US 27 in Nicholasville, your eyes could end up on on one of the four new digital billboards.

"Having more than one sign flashing, that's good," says one driver.

"I don't see how it's that much different than a regular billboard," says another driver.

WKYT caught up with several drivers and there were some that were not on board.

"They are a little distracting actually. Especially this morning when it was a little dark and it really caught my eye. Flashing and stuff," one driver commented.

"Possibly because it's another distraction. People are playing on their phones, eating in the car, and everything else. I guess so," says Eric Barson, another driver.

You may recall back in 2007 when Lexington was dealing with the same thing. Digital billboards were removed because they violated a city ordinance.

It turns out Nicholasville has a similar ordinance. Planning and Zoning Staff say it's been in place since 1981.

The ordinance states:

Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only light emitting a light constant intensity and no sign shall be illuminated by or contain intermittent, rotating,or moving light or lights, except at permitted to Conditional Use Permit.

Even though the signs recently went up, Dean Anness, the Planning Director in Nicholasville says he has already contacted Lamar Adverting to turn them off.

Brian Sayre, the General Manager for Lamar Advertising issued this statement:

"Thank you for inquiring about our digital billboard placements in Nicholasville, KY. Lamar Advertising has over 1,500 digital boards across the United States. This type of technology allows local advertisers, communities, and first responders the ability to reach the driving public quickly and efficiently. This technology also allows for instant communication to the driving public for amber alerts, missing persons messages such as the one for Brookelynn Farthing, as well as police related matters such as assisting in the effort to find the person responsible in connection with the murder of KSP Officer Jason Ellis in Bardstown.

Lamar Advertising has been in Lexington for over 40 years helping
local businesses and non profit organizations spread their messages and/or announcements to the driving public. With the launch of this new technology Lamar Advertising has reviewed the city of Nicholasville's zoning regulations and have determined that Digital Displays are not in violation of the current regulations."

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