New LED sign approved by El Cajon Planning Commission

Written by Michael Palomba

A new LED sign may be headed for El Cajon after the city’s planning commission approved a change to the municipal code that would permit the sign. It could resemble the SDSU LED sign seen above.

The proposed location for the new sign is on city property, near the Johnson Avenue exit of I-8.

The purpose of the sign would be to raise money for the city, potentially $250,000 per year. The sign would be constructed and managed by a third party, but the city would make money off of ad revenue.

Not everyone will be able to advertise on the screen, however. Rules indicate that advertisements can not include political speech, nor can they be for cigarettes, cannabis, gambling, or other adult-oriented products and services.

Because of the pandemic, El Cajon can certainly use a new revenue stream to make up for all of the lost tax revenue over the past few months.

“This is an asset we have on our own land,” said City Manager Graham Mitchell. “This is a way to monetize this land to pay for basic services and is also a great way to promote the city. The average person of any city typically has no idea what’s going on in the city because most people don’t pay attention to what’s happening. With hundreds of thousands of people on I-8, it is a really exciting opportunity for us to communicate with the public.”

The decision to approve the sign was unanimous, with all 5 members signing on. It now heads to the city council, which will take up the ordinance on January 26th. If the council approves, the sign will also need to be approved by the Department of Transportation.