Scenic Watch
Citizens for a Scenic Florida

January 17, 2011

NEWS: Jacksonville

Photo: Don Burk/The FloridaTimes-Union









"Jacksonville Commission Delays Voting on Restrictions for Electronic Signs"

"...The Jacksonville Planning Commission on Thursday deferred voting on a bill that would set an 8-second limit on how often electronic signs can change the messages they beam to passing motorists...

Planning Commission Chairman Marc Hardesty said deferring the vote until Feb. 10 will give more time for a decision that has far-reaching effects on businesses, motorists, and the overall appearance of the city. 'It’s something that will impact every single citizen,' he said.

The proposed 8-second rule also would apply to digital billboards, which aren’t in Jacksonville but might be in the future. Clear Channel Outdoors has applied to build digital billboards at eight locations around the city. Scenic Jacksonville, a nonprofit group, has filed a lawsuit contending digital billboards violate a 1995 court agreement limiting billboards in the city.

The legislation being considered by council is separate from the legal question of whether digital billboards are allowed at all. But if Clear Channel can proceed with digital billboards, those would be subject to whatever rule is in place for how often electronic signs can change messages...

The city’s sign ordinance currently limits electronic signs to changing once every three minutes, according to interpretations by the city’s planning department and building division. However, the language in the ordinance is confusing and has prevented the city from enforcing the three-minute rule, even though most electronic signs in Jacksonville change messages every few seconds...

After the planning commission makes a recommendation, the City Council will have final say on the bill."

-- David Bauerlein, The Florida Times-Union


Fun Festivals and Events

North Florida

Jan 23-24
24th Annual Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River
Jan 26
Lu the Hippo's 51st Birthday, Homosassa Springs
Jan 28-30
Goodland Mullet Festival, Goodland
Jan 29-Feb. 6
Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville

Central  Florida
Jan 20-23
Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere
Jan 20-30
DeSoto County Fair, Arcadia
Jan 22
Taste of DeLand, DeLand
Jan 22-23
Downtown Venice Craft Festival, Venice
Jan 22-23
Anna Maria Island Fest, Sarasota
Jan 22-30
22nd Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, Orlando/Eatonville
Jan 26-27
Lido Key Beach Fine Arts and Crafts Show, Lido Key
Jan 28-30
4th Annual Sarasota Indian Festival, Sarasota
Jan 29
Kumquat Festival, Dade City
Jan 29
Pinellas Folk Festival, St. Petersburg
Jan 29-30
Images --A Festival of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach
Jan 29-30
Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona Beach
Jan 30
Community Fair and Retail Expo 2011, Sanibel and Captiva Islands
South  Florida
Jan 17-21
Key West Race Week 2011, Key West
Jan 21-22
51st Annual Historic House Tours, Key West
Jan 21-23
International Chocolate Festival, Fairchild, Coral Gables
Jan 22-23
Big Pine Key Nautical Flea Market, Big Pine Key
Jan 22-23
46th Annual Broward Shell Show, Pompano Beach
Jan 22-23
Downtown Venice Craft Festival, Venice
Jan 22-23
City Place Art Festival, West Palm Beach
Jan 23
13th Annual Key West Half Marathon, Key West
Jan 27-30
Key West Food and Wine Festival, Key West
Jan 29
5th Annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival, Port Salerno
Jan 29-30
24th Annual Boca Fest, Boca Raton
Jan 29-30
26th Annual Key West Craft Show, Key West
Jan 30
Edison Day of Discovery, Fort Myers
Jan 30
GumboFest, North Fort Myers

Scenic America Posts Case Studies:



"Communities have already been successfully combating billboard blight for many decades.

With the proper knowledge and support communities have retained control of their local character.

The following case studies illustrate steps taken on the local and state level in protecting scenic landscapes, as well as legal obstacles faced by citizens in their own backyards."

Court upholds Concord, New Hampshire's electronic sign ban

Billboards Tower Over Homes - Legally

Montana Activists Clamp Down on Billboard Blight

Vermont - Proud to be Billboard Free!

Washington DC - Billboards in the Nation's Capital

San Francisco voters reject sign district

Judge invalidates L.A. billboard settlement

Important New Legal Details on Arizona Battle

"An appellate proceeding with national implications is pending before the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Oral arguments were heard on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at Mesa High School.

The appeal pits Scenic Arizona, Inc. and the Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, Inc. against American Outdoor Advertising, Inc. (AOA) and the City of Phoenix Board of Adjustment over permits issued for electronic billboards.

It is a high profile case in many respects."

You can READ THE AMICUS CURIAE (friend of the court) briefs from the national ,Scenic America, Inc., and Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.

-- Scenic America Website


Photo: Mclean County Museum of History - Reprinted on

WHAT are Ghost Signs?

Some communities may just never get rid of certain types of signs, but some of those long abandoned ads may even teach us a bit of history in the bargain!

This charming and very witty article discusses the old signs painted on the sides of buildings many years ago. Some of the signs had been painted over many times with new advertising, but as the paint fades, the older signs begin to emerge giving clues to the building's past. Just like ghosts, they have a habit of "rematerializing".

Bill Kemp, Archivist/historian McLean County Museum of History takes a look at this type of signage in his article for To read it, just click on the link below.



Are Twin Cities Structures

a.) Bus Shelters ?

b.) "People Warming Ovens"?


"Caribou Coffee bus shelters are warming commuters while promoting the new ‘Hot ‘n Wholesome’ breakfast menu.

The toasty bus stops look like giant ovens, complete with actual heat-producing coils.

Colle+McVoy in Minneapolis came up with the Caribou Coffee bus shelter idea as a way to increase awareness of Caribou’s new hot breakfast sandwiches...."

-- Katie Cordrey, Trendhunter Lifestyles



and News


Around the Country

Rapid City - Council rejected a longer billboard moratorium....some aldermen argued that there was no use for additional regulations if the city was not going to approve any new billboards.

San Francisco - New smart bus shelters are simply not working.

Hollywood Park, Texas - Homeowners Association In Fight with Billboard Company, Turns Down Ad in Their Newsletter - Mayor says he "would not disagree with (Lamar) threatening Litigation" against the HOA for not accepting the ad.

"A proposal to erect two electronic billboards in Hollywood Park has been a hot topic.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising wants to pay the city $20,000 each year for the billboards, but many residents see them as visual pollution. To plead its case, Lamar wanted to put a full page ad in 'Sparks', the Hollywood Park newsletter. But the homeowners association, which controls the content of 'Sparks', turned them down, saying the ad would be too political.

...Then Hollywood Park Mayor Bob Sartor got in the middle of that advertising dispute. In an e-mail, he suggested to Lamar that they may want to take action against the Hollywood Park HOA. In the e-mail from Sartor to Chris Stokes at Lamar, Sartor wrote that he 'would not disagree with (Lamar) threatening litigation' against the HOA..."