Local News

Fayetteville Looks to Clear Billboard Clutter

Posted August 13, 2007 6:04 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2007 6:57 p.m. EDT

— The City Council on Monday was expected to consider the first test of a local billboard ordinance that was recently passed.

The new regulations prohibit billboards within 2,000 feet of each other and within 500 feet of a residential area. The ordinance also allows companies to upgrade a billboard in exchange for removing a substandard billboard elsewhere.

"By no means are we trying to eliminate billboards in our community," said Kyle Garner, a land-use planner in Fayetteville's Planning Department. "(But) you want to try to have nice entryways into your community. You want people focusing on where they're going and not so much on advertising."

Lamar Advertising has asked to remodel three billboards on Bragg Boulevard near U.S. Highway 401 Bypass. Fayetteville is one of the top markets in the country for Lamar, and the company wants to put each of the billboards on a single pole.

In exchange, Lamar would remove two billboards on Hillsboro Street near the Rowan Street bridge and a third billboard near the intersection of Bragg Boulevard and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway.

"In this particular case, it's a win-win for the community. It's a win for Fayetteville, and it's a win for Lamar," Garner said.

Fayetteville officials estimate 50 billboards stand within three miles of downtown, and some local residents said they hope the new regulations help clear out some of the roadside advertising.

"A lot of streets, it takes away from the surrounding area, a lot of the nature and all that," driver Ed Owens said.

“It’s not that I don’t like them. You have them posted up everywhere, some of them saying the same thing over and over again,” resident Renee Smith said.

"I don't think there should be anymore, but I don't mind them," resident Cyndi Romeo said. “They need to fix the run-down ones.”

Garner said the new ordinance should drive away some of the roadside clutter.

“We really do see that this will make a change and impact on some of these corridors,” he said.

The ordinance doesn't apply to billboards on Interstate 95. Those signs are regulated by the state Department of Transportation.