Scaffidi Building E-Sign, A Dangerous Distraction?

Any form of signage needs to be visible and easily distinguishable from its surroundings, after all, it wants attention, and plenty of it. However, there are certain rules to be followed, in order to ensure that the signs are in no way a danger to anyone in their vicinity. No exceptions exist, from business signage in Sydney, to government signage in Canberra. Any potential violators are investigated and dealt with.

According to the Perth City Council a digital ad billboard set to be built by Lisa Scaffidi and her husband, himself a developer, may be a possible safety hazard if it were ever built. Council staff have recommended to councillors that are part of the planning committee to reject the bid for the installation of the 5.3m*8m digital sign. The $700,000 billboard is being bid to be built on the corner of 379 Wellington Street.

Needless to say, Lisa Scaffidi is against the council on this matter.

Planning officers for the city state that the screen would be a safety hazard, being a billboard, it was meant to be seen and draw attention, which would be problematic if it was to be built in the location that was currently being proposed. Additional reports state that whilst it isn’t entirely sure that the billboard would be a danger, it would likely be a distraction, and that it was ill-fit in its environs, filled with more historical architecture.

The building set to receive the billboard is owned by Central City Pty Limited, of which the Scaffidis are shareholders, two of the company’s five.  The side to be constructed on is leased to APN Outdoor, an advertising agency, and the group responsible for the lodging of the application.

The application came 18 months after it was learned that the permit for an existing billboard on the building had expired. The council then later allowed the removal of time restrictions. After that, the building received a rebranding as Akara, and then, a month prior, the city issued an order for the revaluation of eight signs at the hotel, which were placed by another company Akara Hotels Pty Ltd. As it turns out, they did not properly obtain approval for planning, a necessity for any signage in Australia, such as business signage in Sydney. When Central City learned of this, it stepped in to fix the issue. As a result, meetings between the City of Perth relevant parties, Central City Pty Ltd and Akara Hotels Ltd are what decide what happens to any signage for the building.