Congratulations to the Tacoma City Council for listening to residents and passing a reasonable billboard ordinance which wisely bans digital billboards from blemishing Tacoma’s skyline and requires nonconforming static billboards to be removed by March 1, 2012.
During multiple public hearings, hundreds of Tacomans weighed in against digital billboards, 1,400 signed petitions against them, and six neighborhood councils and dozens of civic groups opposed them. Approximately 95 percent of Tacoma residents opposed digital billboards in the public process.
However, as the billboard issue moves through the court system, there will no doubt be temptations for the City Council to capitulate or appease Clear Channel and to once again be tempted to make some sort of deal in non-public “executive sessions.”
It is important that Tacoma’s interim city manager and council stand up for the public interest and hold fast in backing the current billboard law. Seattle, Bellingham and many other high-quality-of-life cities rightfully ban digital billboards, and it is reasonable that Tacoma continue to do the same.