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The informal report from the City Manager’s office included this artist’s rendering of a proposed freeway sign. Courtesy of City of Fort Worth

City officials and Dickies Arena developers appear to be backpedaling on a recent proposal to allow up to 10 digital signs near the arena in the Cultural District. Angry residents envisioned the area transforming into something resembling the Las Vegas Strip. Those fears are perhaps exaggerated but based to some degree in reality. The proposed sign district, released by the city manager in December, would allow signage that is currently prohibited under existing ordinances (“Signs of Discontent,” Jan 23, 2019).

The largest proposed sign is a digital billboard near I-30 stretching 70 feet tall, far higher than the 35- to 50-foot signage allowed under the current ordinance. Other proposed signs would be attached to shorter, monument-style structures with bright, digital text changing as often as every 20 seconds. Artists renderings depict signs with “Dickies Arena” emblazoned at the top, making some Cultural District patrons worry that city officials are trying to re-brand an area long known for its museums as much as its stock shows and rodeos.

Margaret DeMoss, a board member with the Cultural District Alliance, expects city officials to scale back some of the original plans after receiving earfuls of complaints from residents wanting to preserve the sanctity of the museum district. The Alliance is a chamber of commerce-like organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the area. In recent weeks, city officials have indicated in private talks they will delay introducing the proposed new district to the Zoning Commission, which was originally set to hear the proposal this week but might now wait until March, DeMoss said.

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The delay indicates the officials are “revising it in some way,” she said, although they won’t know for sure until meeting with city officials and arena builders to discuss the signage at 6:30pm on Tue, Feb 19, at Fort Worth Firefighters Hall, 3855 Tulsa Way.

City Councilmember Dennis Shingleton, whose district includes the Cultural District, is expected to attend the meeting with other city officials and discuss revisions being considered for the proposed district.

“It will be interesting to hear what they say on the 19th,” DeMoss said.

If that sounds interesting to you, the meeting is free and open to the public.

1 COMMENT

  1. After attending last night’s AHNA meeting and presentation by Event Facilities Fort Worth, the plan does not seem to be well researched (it doesn’t even follow the traffic study that the arena had previously presented) nor does it seem to be a collaboration between all of the important members of the Cultural District. This is not just an Arlington Heights/Cultural District problem but a city-wide problem. Please continue to share updates as you find them.

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