Petition Closed

Digital Billboards Present These Concerns:
1. Billboards, particularly Digital Billboards are a digital blight on a beautiful natural landscape.
2. Asheville is special for many reasons. Good architecture that has been preserved is one reason and that is being destroyed on Merrimon.
3. Billboards and Digital Billboards cause a decrease in property values particularly important in residential neighborhoods.
4. Traffic Safety issues – studies report with a 2 sec. diversion from driving tasks increases the incidence of crashes.
5. Brightness, luminance and illuminance: The bright lights (LED) are 7500 nits and the sun is 6500 nits. In all respects the bright light of a DBB is a nuisance, and increases the bright lights of an urban area…and its view shed.
6. Buncombe County has passed an Ordinance against light pollution that forces all exterior lighting to be amortized / depreciated / replaced.
7. DBBs are energy guzzlers consuming huge amounts of energy (1 DBB consumes as much energy as 30 average homes one study cited) which contribute to greenhouse gases and global warming.
8. Billboard Companies are clearcutting trees to make their road signs more visible.
9. Digital Billboards (DBBs) have been a vehicle for “computer hacking” in other countries and are ripe for hacking in our country with the result of unacceptable messages as the display.
10. There is a window of opportunity open for Digital Billboards (DBB’s) to become mobile displays used in this community as in signs on the side of buses or trucks?
11. “Local” service information is available on Blackberries and Smart Phones.
12. “Logo” signs on highways and at highway exits, point direction and distance to local services as well and make billboards unnecessary.


Letter to
Citizens of Asheville and Western North Carolina
What do you want to change?
This is a petition to ask Asheville City Council to pass an ordinance to ban any new billboard (digital or otherwise) in the City limits. By signing this document, you are asking the Asheville City Council to adopt the necessary ordinances to:
1. Not allow any new billboards along any road corridors.
2. Develop a plan to eliminate all existing billboards by the year 2025, unless they are next to I-40, I-26, or I-240.

Who has the power to change it?
City Council can pass laws to restrict or eliminate Billboards.

Why should others join you?
We need your support as it is clear from our history that the billboard industry will work to protect their interest at the sacrifice of our community’s goals.

In the early 2000’s, the City of Asheville adopted its comprehensive plan for development titled the “2025 Plan”. This is a plan for the future development of Asheville and a guide for development patterns within the city. The plan calls for infill and higher density development along main corridors within the city limits that also serve as major mass transit corridors. The logic is to get more transit supported densities along these corridors in order to alleviate congestion and be more efficient with transit. In doing so, the 2025 Plan calls for the removal of “highway” uses, such as billboards, along these corridors.

In the 2025 Plan, it recommends the following strategy; “New billboards should not be allowed along any road corridors and existing ones should be amortized and removed unless adjacent to federal aid primary highways.”

The goal of our 2025 Plan is quite clear and is necessary if we are to be serious about achieving transit efficient density. Afterall, who would want to live adjacent to a digital billboard?

Since the adoption of the 2025 Plan, the billboard industry’s has worked with a past City Council to get a delay on billboard action until 2014. This compromise agreement has allowed for new billboards on local road corridors of Merrimon, Patton, Tunnel, Hendersonville, and Sweeten Creek. All roads that are clearly not federal aid primary highways. This compromise ends in 2014, and we need Council to pass ordinances that get us closer to our community goals, so we can achieve our Smart Growth goals of density along our corridors, rather than posting our neighborhoods with big TVs on sticks.

States that have banned digital billboards:

Cities that have banned Digital billboards:
Pima County, AZ
San Francisco
St. Pete, FL
Durham, NC
Denver, CO
Knoxville, TN
Ft. Worth, TX
Austin, TX
Amarillo, TX
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Galveston, TX

Jane Northway started this petition with a single signature, and now has 117 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.