Oct 27 2012
10:21 am

What: Public Hearing on New Billboard/EMC Ban
When: Monday, October 29, 2012 - 5:30pm
Where: City/County Building

Knox County Commission will hold a public input session on a proposal by Commissioner Richard Briggs to ban new billboards, prohibit the conversion of traditional billboards to digital format and ban new electronic message centers in Knox County. This will likely be voted on at the December County Commission meeting.

Today's News-Sentinel has an opinion piece by Scenic Knoxville president Joyce Feld where she outlines the case for supporting the resolutions.

The city of Knoxville has had these controls in place for over 10 years and Knox County has had a moratorium on new billboards and digitals for 4-1/2 years. Knox County already has hundreds of billboards, many of which are blank.

My favorite billboard, if there is such a thing, is the one at Rutledge Pike and I-40 by Joe Neubert's auto body repair shop:

Rutledge Pike and I-40

There are enough distractions on the road and in your car without adding flashing, scrolling signs and "TV screens in the sky," as digital billboards have been called. Once a billboard is in place, it almost never comes down. Furthermore, once a billboard is erected, the community has no control over what is advertised on the billboard because of free speech. It is intrusive advertising and there is no escape from it. In a way, billboards steal the view because they overwhelm everything around them - the scenery, the architecture, and even the on-premises signs of businesses around them.

I support these resolutions and hope people who feel the same will attend the public meeting and speak, or email Commissioners at and ask them to support the scenic beauty of our area.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

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