Commentary: Texas will have taller billboards unless Legislature acts

Commentary: Texas will have taller billboards unless Legislature acts

The state of Texas has drawn a line in the sky that limits the height of billboards along our highways. Unfortunately, many billboard owners have ignored it. A significant number of the billboards across our state, which are regulated by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), exceed the decades-old height limit of 42.5 feet. These taller billboards exist even though the permit application for every state-regulated billboard requires the owner to certify the proposed billboard will comply with the 42.5-foot…

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Dripping Springs City Council approves resolution to support Hill Country Scenic Highways Bill

Dripping Springs City Council approves resolution to support Hill Country Scenic Highways Bill

One week after Hays County Commissions voted to support House Bill 1303, Dripping Springs City Council on Feb. 19 followed suit, passing a resolution of support of their own. House Bill 1303 would restrict the presence of billboards along certain roads in Hays County. Filed by Hays County’s state Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, the bill would add FM 1826, RM 150 and RM 967 to the current list of roads where “off-premise signage” is prohibited by the Texas Transportation Code.…

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Bill would bar new billboards from some Hays County roads

Bill would bar new billboards from some Hays County roads

Legislation filed in the Texas House would prohibit new billboards along segments of three Hays County highways. Local elected officials say billboards disrupt the scenic Hill Country views that attract tourists and homeowners alike in the fast-growing region. The bill, filed Feb. 1 by state Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, and supported by two Hays County-based environmental preservation groups, would ban new billboard construction within Hays County along RM 1826, RM 150 between Kyle and RM 12, and RM 967 between…

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Oct. 16 last day to comment to keep Texas billboards from doubling to 85 feet

Oct. 16 last day to comment to keep Texas billboards from doubling to 85 feet

Imagine driving across Texas and seeing billboards suddenly stretching twice as high, marring your view of the landscape. A scenic advocacy group fears this could be the result of proposed new rules from the Texas Department of Transportation. For decades, the maximum height for billboards has stood at 42 1/2 feet. But the proposed rules state that “a sign existing on March 1, 2017 may not be higher than 85 feet.” That’s taller than an 8-story building… Read more from Star-Telegram The…

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Commentary: Digital billboards are more trouble than some may suggest

Commentary: Digital billboards are more trouble than some may suggest

In the recently published commentary, “Texas cities should upgrade billboard laws for digital age,” Russ Horton suggested that Austin and other Texas cities quickly “consider carefully crafting” digital sign agreements with sign owners or “find themselves left behind by the digital revolution.” He urges cities to allow off-premise electronic digitally changing commercial advertising signs because “most of the state’s largest metropolitan areas” allow them and because business owners are allowed to have them for their on-premise commercial activities. Horton leaves…

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Court voids heart of Texas Highway Beautification Act

Court voids heart of Texas Highway Beautification Act

A state appeals court has overturned a law that allowed Texas officials to regulate signs along highways and interstates, saying key sections of the 1972 Texas Highway Beautification Act violate free speech rights. Limits on outdoor advertising, the legacy of efforts by Lady Bird Johnson to reduce eyesores along the nation’s growing highway system, cannot be enforced because the law improperly regulates billboards and signs based on what they say, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals ruled. Signs, for example,…

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Scenic Texas Announces New Scenic Hill Country Chapter and Leadership

Scenic Texas Announces New Scenic Hill Country Chapter and Leadership

Scenic Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the visual character of Texas, announced the formation of its newest chapter, Scenic Hill Country, bringing the total number of state chapters to eight. The Scenic Hill Country Chapter will work to preserve, protect and enhance the Hill Country’s scenic vistas by educating the region on the values and principles of the Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners. Additionally, the chapter will assist…

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Texans Speak Up for Beautiful Highways: TxDOT withdraws proposal for taller billboards

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has withdrawn its June 2014 proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways to be taller. After receiving public comments from more than 900 Texans and 15 organizations in opposition to taller billboards, the agency advised today it is removing the item from consideration on the August 28 Texas Transportation Commission agenda. Learn more

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Taller billboards could be coming to Texas

Billboards designed to get people’s attention could be getting taller. In a proposal the Texas Department of Transportation has rolled out, drivers on interstates, major roadways and rural areas could see signs as high as 65 feet tall. “It may seem like a small thing coming from a city, but it’s really a big deal and can really negatively impact your experience of Texas Hill Country,” said Katherine Romans with the Hill Country Alliance. Comments can be submitted through July…

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