Nov 24 2012
10:20 am
By: Lisa Starbuck  shortURL

Scenic Knoxville, an advocacy group that is supporting a ban on new billboards and digital billboards in Knox County, is headline news today because the organization's president accidentally sent an email to Knox County Commissioners where she said they PLAN TO LET THE PUBLIC KNOW HOW COMMISSIONERS WERE LIKELY TO VOTE ahead of the actual vote in January.

At least two commissioners said it was "disappointing". Really? And Greg Issacs, the attorney for Lamar Advertising, called it "internet intimidation" to let constituents know how commissioners were likely to vote.

Must have been a slow news day today. Actually the publicity may help bring more awareness to the issue, which is what Scenic Knoxville is trying to do. Because most people don't like billboards and think they are ugly. There are good reasons why they are often called "sky trash" and "litter on a stick". Billboards decrease residential property values nearby. Their purpose is to distract drivers. And there's a whole lot of other reasons why billboards are bad for an area that you can read about for yourself.

Decide for yourself. Then take a moment and contact your Knox County Commissioners (or send an email to and let them know how you feel. Even better, come to County Commission's workshop on November 29th at 4:00 pm in the City/County building and hear the discussion for yourself and join in if they allow it.

*disclaimer - I am on the board of Scenic Knoxville and support the proposed resolutions.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Is a new digital billboard coming to your neighborhood?

These digital billboard permits have already been approved and the 4 year moratorium on new billboards is the reason why they haven't been installed yet. If the new billboard ban fails at County Commission in January, these and other locations could be coming soon.

8609 Kingston Pk.
10500 Kingston Pk.
7526 Oak Ridge Hwy.
227 E Emory Rd.
130 Mabry Hood Rd.
2413 Ball Camp Byington Rd.
6427 Asheville Hwy.
9810 Middlebrook Pk.

Did you know that currently a billboard can be erected on any property zoned CA, CB, CH or I that is not located on a scenic highway or specifically excluded in the existing ordinance? Look for more billboards in Halls, Powell, Corryton, Washington Pike, Tazewell Pike, Emory Road, Broadway, Clinton Hwy, Oak Ridge Hwy, Chapman Hwy or anyplace where there is enough traffic for the billboard companies to justify a billboard that has CA, CB, CH or I zoning. Two lane or four lane, doesn't matter. Of course, if you live in Farragut, like the head of Lamar's Knoxville office, you don't have to worry about it because new billboards and digital billboards aren't allowed. Actually, they aren't allowed in the city of Knoxville either, only in Knox County outside of the other municipalities.

Factchecker's picture

East Tennessee values of outdoor advertising

One sign (heh) things may be getting contentious would be if Lamar again starts underwriting WUOT programming, ostensibly to (pretend to) show what a great steward of the community it is. That was one of their tactics last battle which they won.

Of course we shouldn't wait for that before acting to stop these purveyors of mega-litter on giant sticks.

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