By JEREMY HAY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A highly visible electronic advertising sign on Highway 101 will get more so, the result of Rohnert Park City Council’s approval Tuesday of a private company’s bid to lease it, raze it and build a bigger one.
Petaluma-based N2 Holdings, Inc., plans to sell advertising to nationwide clients as part of a digital advertising campaign.
The city now spends about $50,000 a year to operate the sign. It will assume no costs related to building, maintaining or operating the new one. N2 will pay the city $6,000 a month and 10 percent of monthly gross revenues.
“This is a a great opportunity,” said Councilwoman Pam Stafford said.
The N2 bid won over a proposal by Veale Investment Properties, led by Kirk Veale, a Sonoma County businessman with broad outdoor advertising experience.
The new sign will be 50-feet high, lower than the 60-feet originally proposed, The screen will be 15-feet high and 28 feet, six-inches wide.
It will be smaller than the Petaluma Auto Plaza electronic sign but roughly twice the size of the current sign, which was installed in 2003 and paid for by the Dorothy Spreckels Performing Arts Center endowment.
Santa Rosa resident Robert Jacobson spoke against the sign, saying studies show that billboards double the rate of accidents.
“This is a dangerous thing you’re doing here,” Jacobson said, adding that he would monitor the roadway’s statistics “and I will sue you” if accidents increase.