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ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Legislators Regarding HB 304/SB 320 Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws

April 17, 2015

Please contact your legislators to express your opposition to HB 304/ SB 320 Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws. This bill would undermine local regulation of billboards. Specific provisions would pre-empt local regulation when an existing billboard is altered or relocated, meaning that even grandfathered, non-conforming signs could be moved, enlarged, placed on a monopole or steel pole, or converted to lighted, digital technology. Although the 13-page bill contains numerous provisions, some of them continuing to refer to local zoning and other local regulation of billboards, it begins with a policy declaration calling for the establishment of a uniform system of billboard regulation throughout the state.

The legislation includes a provision that would relax vegetation-removal restrictions. Yet another provision, because it would force state and local government to pay for the future value of condemned signs rather than their replacement value, has the potential to significantly increase costs for municipalities when a billboard site must be condemned in order to move ahead with road or public building projects. Tell your legislators that this change amounts to creating a special class of property owners, and that if the same designation applied to all commercially-used property, including farmland, that road-building in the state would grind to a halt.

Because of the many complex provisions in the bill, and their different affects on each other, all of the implications of HB 304/SB 320 are not clear. Nonetheless, the previously mentioned provisions would undermine municipal authority and harm municipal taxpayers. You can read media coverage about the legislation here. The House version, HB 304, is most likely to be heard first and is before the House Committee on Commerce and Job Development. You can view the members of the House committee here. The bill and its bill sponsors can be found here. Please contact your legislators and tell them about how this bill may specifically affect your municipality. Let them know about your concerns regarding this legislation.

Posted on April 17, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham