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.