Rhinelander will soon have its second digital billboard but some on the city council think it could set a precedent.
The Laska brothers would like to open an auction house at the corner of Highways 8 and 47 on Rhinelander's west side at the site currently being used as a recycling center.
The area is zoned industrial, one of the lightest-regulated categories. City Attorney Phil Parkinson said the current rules were set up during the peak of stationary billboards and haven't been updated to reflect the reality of the digital boards. A digital board went up this summer in downtown Rhinelander.
The Laskas told the council the board was needed to help advertise the new business, but also as an advertising cash flow to help them short term. The current zoning rules keep just the name and direction of the business on the board. The council first waived a public hearing on the change.
Council member Alex Young felt he hadn't had enough time to decide on a change that could result in many other requests in other zoning districts...
"....seems to me to be a fairly major change in the ordinance and to waive the public hearing right off the bat doesn't seem like something we want to do..."
The council voted 6-2 to approved the ordinance change in Industrial zoning district only, and later approved the proposed sign 8-0.