Plan Commission considers idea to put poster ads on downtown buildings

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Changes could be coming to downtown Toledo. The Toledo City Plan Commission is considering an idea that uses empty space on buildings to advertise.

A piece of legislation aimed at amending and also adding a new piece to Toledo's municipal code was introduced by Toledo City Council President, Matt Cherry.

The idea is to change the code and allow advertisers to put up large-scale poster or LED advertisements on the side of buildings downtown. Those behind the idea argue it will add color to downtown and improve areas that are lacking visually.

Under the proposal, the ads would need to feature large photos and can use up to 80% of a buildings height and width.

Not everyone is in favor of the plan. The Downtown Toledo Improvement District/ConnecToledo, Toledo Arts Commission, Toledo Design Collective, the Uptown District Architectural Review Commission, and the Toledo Warehouse District Architectural Review Commission are all against the idea.

Arguments from those opposed to allowing the ads include fear of light pollution, the size of the ads and the lack of control over what could be advertised.

"It doesn't fit with the harmony of the historic nature of the buildings down here and the aesthetic improvements we are trying to achieve," says Cindy Kerr, the Vice President of ConnecToledo and the Downtown Development Corporation.

Under current city code, only existing billboards are allowed. The Toledo City Plan Commission has studied the idea and is meeting this week to discuss. They will likely recommend a disapproval of the idea and instead recommend additional murals for the Downtown area to add color.

13abc reached out to Council President Matt Cherry for comment but he was out of town and unable to do an interview.