Residents near Raytown schools upset over installation of digital signs

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KANSAS CITY -- Some neighborhood groups are upset that the Raytown School District has installed digital signs that it knows are in violation of city codes.

The city prohibits digital signs in residential areas, and many of Raytown's schools in Kansas City are in neighborhoods, right across the street from houses.

Some homeowners believe digital signs with bright LED lighting are too glitzy for neighborhoods. They are astounded that Raytown schools would put up bright message boards knowing that they violate city zoning.

Carol Winterowd is part of a neighborhood group that prompted Rockhurst High School to take down similar digital signs more than 10 years ago.

"They want something that's bright and flashy," said Winterowd, president of the Center Planning and Development Council. "Someone said to me the other day, 'Technology is taking over us,' all this advanced technology. The flashing, is this a part of our mentality now that we have to see these kinds of things all the time?"

Kansas City currently is considering new rules on digital signs after North Kansas City schools installed bright message boards last year, not realizing they are prohibited.

Taking them down would be expensive, but opponents say current law allows signs that should accommodate schools, just not bright flashy digital ones.

The communications director for Raytown schools tells FOX 4 News the signs are part of a bond issue overwhelmingly approved by voters. And the school district says it's legal research indicates city codes don't apply to signs on school property.