Published on March 7, 2013
By THEO KARANTSALIS
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
If Miami Springs moves ahead with plans to annex land west of the airport, one company would get the exclusive right to erect billboards near the Palmetto Expressway.
In 2011, Orlando-based Meridian Management LLC filed a federal lawsuit against Miami Springs challenging the constitutionality of the city’s sign ordinance which it claimed had “defects.”
According to a December 2011 settlement agreement, Meridian agreed to withdraw all previous applications for billboards in exchange for the rights to be granted permits to “construct billboard signs along certain limited-access highways,” namely the Palmetto.
Meridian would pay the city a one-time permitting fee of $75,000, for each sign — up to a maximum of 10 signs — if annexation is approved. The deal includes static, digital and tri-vision signs.
The signs would be erected on private property and would be visible from the Palmetto.
If Meridian decides to go with digital signs, an additional fee of $75,000 would be paid to the city.
The city could net sign permitting fees ranging from $750,000 to $1.5 million under the deal.
The Miami Springs sign ordinance does not specifically address requirements and restrictions for billboards in the city. In the absence of a city ordinance, the billboards would have to meet applicable requirements under Miami-Dade County’s ordinance, Florida law, and state Department of Transportation rules.
Meridian will not be allowed to erect signs promoting adult entertainment, according to the agreement.
This includes graphics that "depict sexual conduct, human genitalia or buttocks."
City leaders have yet to decide whether to amend ordinances as they pertain to regulations and restrictions of outdoor advertising signs within its borders.
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