County taking action on oversized billboard

       El Paso County commissioners have given the owner of a property with an oversized billboard 60 days to take action on it.
       The sign is on the north side of Highway 24 between 26th and 31st streets.
       The issue proved time-consuming for the commissioners at their Aug. 7 meeting because the property owner, Philip McLaughlin, did not actually put up the billboard; he leased the space to Steve Beisel, who, according to county records, had previously been told by commissioners he needed a permit before he could increase the size of the sign from 128 square feet.
       McLaughlin called the situation a “whole confusing mess.”
       However, county legal staff insisted that even if the unauthorized change was not perpetrated by the property owner, that's who the county must act against to avoid legal complications. The intent of the 60 days, based on commissioner discussion, is to let McLaughlin work out the matter with Beisel (who was not present).
       The complaint leading to the action came from Scenic Colorado, a volunteer entity that seeks to keep roadways attractive. The group has adopted and regularly picks up trash along a one-mile segment of Highway 24 (west of Red Rock Canyon), Scenic Colorado spokesperson Larry Barrett told commissioners.
       The vote, which followed a motion by Commissioner Sallie Clark, was “to approve giving a 60-day extension to the landowner to bring the property into compliance or file for a special use.”

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