LAYTON -- A billboard destined for south Layton is now headed to a part of the city that has never been home to a billboard before.
The city council unanimously voted to relocate a billboard that was to be put at 720 S. Main St. The new location is 1597 N. Woodland Park Drive, just across the street from the Red Robin restaurant.
"The people in south Layton felt they have their fair share of signs," said City Councilman Scott Freitag.
Eighteen months ago, the original billboard that was along Interstate 15 was taken down to make way for the Layton Parkway. After months of negotiations between the Utah Department of Transportation and Saunders Outdoor Advertising, UDOT selected the site for the billboard. City officials had given UDOT a list of possible sites, but did not include a location between Hill Field Road and Antelope Drive because the city was trying to avoid putting billboards on the east side of I-15 between those two interchanges.
UDOT owns the land where the billboard was going to be placed.
"Sometimes they take the simplest (choice) and that was it, since they own the land," said City Councilman Renny Knowlton.
But two months ago, when crews arrived on the site to erect the billboard, neighbors were upset because they had no idea that the billboard was going to be put in their neighborhood.
Two of the area residents, David and Margaret Adams, called their son, who is a state senator. Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, then called officials from the city, UDOT and Saunders Outdoor Advertising.
Adams' involvement has caused some controversy because he is an elected official.
"It has some influence and brings it to the forefront, but because it is a state senator you know there will be scrutiny," Knowlton said.
However, city officials say that their decision was not influenced by Adams' phone calls.
"Absolutely not," Freitag said. "I wouldn't care if it is a state senator or someone I have never heard of or known. What makes a difference is the input."
When Freitag became aware of the situation, he walked the neighborhood and spoke with residents. He said sometimes city officials are put in difficult situations when they represent family members; however, they are elected to represent everyone.
"One of the reasons we're in public office is we look for the input and we look for it from everyone we represent," Freitag said. "That's our duty, to listen, and if we didn't listen we would not be doing what we were sworn in to do when we were elected."
UDOT will be responsible to meet with the landowner of the new billboard site and negotiate the erection of the new sign.