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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Billboards

Lot of discussion about billboards around town this week. Kevin's recap of the issue is here. Here's the Herald Sun report on Fairway's (the company that owns most of the billboards in town) presentation to the INC to lobby for a change to the local ordinance that governs billboards. (Read Kevin's post to understand the ins and outs of the deal.) Nothing so far in the N&O, but i wouldn't be surprised if Jim wise has something in the weekend Durham News.

Here's the piece that nobody's picking up on yet.

The INC presentation was made by Patrick Byker, attorney for Fairway. Byker works for the law firm of K&L/Gates. As does Craigie Sanders, the current president of the Inter Neighborhood Council. We've pointed out the appearance of a conflict of interest in Craigie's two positions in the past. As far as i'm concerned, that's just getting worse.

K&L/Gates Associates:
K&L Gates LLP comprises 1,700 lawyers who practice in 28 offices located on three continents: Anchorage, Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, Taipei and Washington. K&L Gates represents capital markets participants and leading global corporations, growth and middle-market companies, and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions and philanthropic organizations. Our practice is robustly a full market practice — at once regional, national and international in scope — and it is cutting edge, complex, and dynamic.

Patrick L. Byker Counsel
Research Triangle Park +1.919.466.1264
Fax +1.919.516.2064
patrick.byker@klgates.com Add to Outlook Contacts


Areas of Practice • Professional/Civic Activities • Speaking Engagements • Bar Admissions • Education • Additional Information

Areas of Practice

Mr. Byker focuses his practice on land use and zoning. He was previously Vice President of Government Relations with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.
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Craigie D. Sanders Real Estate Staff Lawyer
Research Triangle Park +1.919.466.1259
Fax +1.919.516.2059
craigie.sanders@klgates.com Add to Outlook Contacts


Areas of Practice • Professional/Civic Activities • Bar Admissions • Education • Additional Information

Areas of Practice

Mr. Sanders focuses his practice on land use planning and development matters. In addition to having extensive experience in working with elected and appointed government officials, he has experience conducting neighborhood and community meetings.

As a former city planner, Mr. Sanders also has experience in comprehensive planning, rezoning matters, Board of Adjustment requests, plan amendments, historic preservation matters and city ordinance revisions.

No way it's a coincidence that the INC is being pitched on the billboard ordinance revision, after so many years of that group leading the fight against billboards. One more step along the road to irrelevance for this once important organization.

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3 Comments:

  • Sanders should step down.

    This is getting ridiculous.

    I can't think of a single community, with the exception of zoned commercial places like Times Square, that benefits from the visual pollution of contemporary billboards.

    Next you'll be telling me that the renovations to Club Blvd and Oval Park in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood happened first before other areas of the city because of who lives there?

    Just sayin'!

    By Blogger Tony, at 10:10 PM  

  • I am disappointed that INC provided an unchallenged platform for this industry presentation. At the very least, INC leadership should have taken the initiative to seek out a speaker who could have presented an opposing viewpoint at the meeting. This could have come from any number of places and perspectives: an urban planning perspective, an energy consumption perspective, an economic analysis, an aesthetic perspective. I don't think any effort was made to seek out any alternate perspectives to appear at the INC meeting.

    It is ironic that INC allowed itself to be used as a forum for promoting the billboard industry call to install electronic billboards in Durham when INC was a leader in the fight against billboard blight.

    By Blogger Kelly, at 4:56 PM  

  • Barry, thanks for this post.

    The current INC leadership needs to take a careful look at how all this appears. For starters, they need to stop pampering the billboard companies.

    By Blogger John, at 10:28 AM  

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