Billboards and Your Views
Folks looking forward to the viewing the Fall foliage that will soon adorn the state’s mountains may be saddened to learn that new rules currently under development by NC DOT may mean you will be seeing billboards instead of trees at the peak of autumn color.
And it’s not just the mountains that will bear the brunt of the assault on our trees. Visitors heading to Charlotte have had their local investment in beautification along Independence Boulevard run over roughshod. As the land flattens on the way to Wilmington, any of the longleaf pines within a football field or so of a billboard will be fair game to be cut.
Here’s where you come in. The NC DOT is in the process of adopting new rules to implement the bad billboard bill from last session that stirred up such a fuss. And you won’t be surprised that the billboard companies want to make that bad will worse with the new rules.
If your views don’t match up with those of the billboard companies, please send a message to the DOT today. Here are some key points (copy/pasting is ok!):
- I agree with the proposed rules– DOT should deny permits to remove trees and other vegetation if doing so would be in conflict with conservation easements, or with state or federal rules, statutes and permits.
- I agree that local governments should have at least 30 days advance review of the application to remove vegetation before the application is submitted to DOT.
- Don’t turn billboard companies loose with mechanized equipment that scrape every last blade of vegetation from the road.
- Don’t create a loophole to cut down even more trees to increase the visibility of roadside businesses. Clearing the view to businesses goes well beyond the language and intent of the law.