The North End Neighborhood Council, along with other neighborhood councils, has voted to oppose the proposed settlement with Clear Channel over the issue of billboards.
Neighborhoods universally consider billboards to be visual blight, and they are opposed by cities across the United States. Introducing electronic billboards in Tacoma would be extremely harmful and would degrade the quality of life in our city. They are described as being like TVs on a stick, and each needlessly wastes as much electricity as 30 houses use, undermining any effort of Tacoma to be “green.”
Hence, the NENC strongly supports the original 1997 city ordinance that greatly reduces the number of billboards in Tacoma and opposes any introduction of electronic billboards in Tacoma.
The City of Tacoma should begin enforcing the current billboard law and expend any legal and financial resources necessary to defend the 1997 billboard law just as it would defending any law aimed at reducing blight in the City of Tacoma.
We believe the proposed “settlement agreement” would place Tacoma in a far worse position than no agreement at all and it should not be signed. No change in the 1997 billboard law is warranted at this time.
(Bjornson is chairman of the North End Neighborhood Council.)