electronic billboard concept highway 101 automall parkway outfront media
Outfront Media’s proposed electronic billboard on Automall Parkway is shown in this concept rendering.
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A proposed 75-foot electronic billboard along Highway 101 would have less than significant impacts on the environment, a report concluded.

The public is invited to comment on the report and the proposed update to the city’s sign ordinance by Sept. 6 at 5pm.

In late 2020, the Gilroy City Council directed staff to update the city’s code related to signs, which has various height and text restrictions for those located near the freeway.

Outfront Media’s proposal to the city prompted the discussion. The company, on behalf of landowner Mike Conrotto, seeks to construct an electronic billboard that reaches 75 feet tall, positioned on the 6400 block of Automall Parkway, which is currently used for truck trailer parking.

The display on the sign would not be allowed to change more often than every eight seconds, according to a study completed by FirstCarbon Solutions, while an illuminated “Welcome to Gilroy” sign would be installed at the top of the column above the billboard.

The draft ordinance under review would permit two electronic billboards in the city, and only within 600 feet of Highways 101 and 152, in zoning districts that cover the Gilroy Premium Outlets and shopping centers around Camino Arroyo.

The study considered various factors, such as aesthetics, cultural resources and air quality, and determined that there would not be any “significant effects” from the project.

To view the report, visit bit.ly/3QLbdCp.

Comments in writing must be received by 5pm on Sept. 6 and should be directed to Cindy McCormick, at [email protected], or mailed to City of Gilroy, Planning Division (Attn: Cindy McCormick), 7351 Rosanna Street, Gilroy, CA 95020.

The billboard proposal is still in its early stages. If the study is adopted by the city council at a future date, the new electronic billboard ordinance would then have to be approved by the council before Outfront Media seeks permits from various agencies, including the city and Caltrans. 

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.

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