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Recently Fairway Outdoor Advertising installed a very large digital billboard on the front lawn of a property at 388 Merrimon Avenue, owned by William Palas.  The billboard was installed with no community input or public comment although it was in compliance with the City of Asheville amendments to the Billboard Ordinance. 

Prior to the installation, Fairway Outdoor Advertising met with the City Department of Planning and Development.  The city did not support the site location, but due to ordinance standards, could not stop Fairway from proceeding.   

Lamar Advertising, the competing billboard company in Asheville, had also met with the city about an installation of a digital billboard. After discussions with the city, Lamar Advertising came to the conclusion that the Merrimon Corridor was inappropriate for installation of a digital billboard.  We thank Lamar Advertising for using good judgment and respecting the character of the community.

Both Fairway Advertising and Mr. William Palas, a long time realtor in the Asheville area, have placed their own financial self interests above that of the community. 

The billboard is clearly out of scale for the site, presents numerous safety issues on an already tightly packed corridor and is not consistent with the aesthetics of the community. 

On May 31st, a number of community associations and residents came together to create the Asheville Billboard Community Action Committee.  With over 50 people in attendance, there was an overwhelming consensus that the billboard must be removed.  

The Committee has established a plan of specific actions that can be taken to compel Fairway Advertising and Mr. Palas to remove the billboard and concurrently work with the City of Asheville to modify our billboard ordinances. 

Letter to
General Manager, Fairway Outdoor Advertising Terry Graves
Broker, Appalachian Realty William Palas
Terry Graves
General Manager-GSA Region
Fairway Outdoor Advertising
44 Buck Shoals Rd # A8
Arden, NC 28704-3385
William Palas
485 Shope Creek Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805

On May 31st, a number of community associations and residents came together to create the Asheville Billboard Community Action Committee to address their concerns about the installation of the digital billboard at 388 Merrimon Avenue. With over 50 people in attendance, there was an overwhelming consensus that the billboard must be removed.

The Committee believes that the digital billboard on Merrimon Avenue is inappropriate for an already tightly packed commercial corridor. Although Fairway Advertising has the legal right to construct this billboard it is clearly out of character for the community and out of scale for the site. Merrimon Avenue is unique amongst the designated commercial corridors because of the residential neighborhoods on its immediate boundaries. Furthermore, the corridor is used in a “neighborhood” fashion with elementary schools, churches and a public library lining the street.

The Committee is also concerned with issues related to light pollution and “dark sky” issues, the real potential for tagging and graffiti, and the negative impact on the image of our community. Asheville is known for its overall commitment to sustainable community and aesthetics which is the basis of it’s thriving tourism industry. This billboard runs counter to the image which Asheville promotes nationally.

While the city could not stop you from constructing the billboard at this locations, we are aware that the City Planning and Development Department strongly discouraged this placement. We were informed that the city had similar discussions with your competitor Lamar Advertising. Lamar took into consideration the nature of the Merrimon corridor and concluded that placement of a digital billboard was unsuitable.

The community is respectfully requesting that Fairway Outdoor Advertising and Mr. Palas jointly agree to remove the billboard from this location.

Should the billboard remain on Merrimon Avenue, the Asheville Billboard Community Action Committee will be compelled to take a variety of actions to substantially raise community awareness and reduce the potential income from advertising revenue at this location.

The Asheville Billboard Community Action Committee

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