Scenic Watch
Citizens for a Scenic Florida

October 22, 2011


Attend a Movie Premiere in NYC?

About Billboards?

"...This full length feature focuses on the issue of visual pollution in our global community."

"Billboards and commercial messages dominate the public space like never before. Can we reverse this visual pollution?



"This Space Available looks at diverse activists from the worlds of advertising, street art, and politics.

Influenced by the writing of Marc Gobe (Emotional Branding), his daughter Gwenaelle directs with tremendous verve in her depiction of New Yorkers and others around the world who want to reclaim the integrity of their cities against an onslaught of visual pollution."

"While the film will eventually be widely available, DOC NYC will be premiering the film on Saturday November 5th at 7pm at the IFC theater in New York City. There will also be a Q&A after the screening for viewers to question the film makers and a few of the subjects."

Scenic organization members from around the nation are planning on attending this premier in NYC. You may be able to meet with international billboard activists who also plan to attend the screening.

To purchase tickets for the This Space Available premier at the DOC NYC fest at the IFC theater on 11-05-11, please visit the DOC NYC website here. Remember there is limited space available..."

-- Press Release and DOC NYC


Fun Festivals and Events

Central Florida

Oct 22-23
Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora
Oct 23
Festival Calle Orange, Orlando
Oct 28-30
Great American Cooter Festival, Inverness
Nov 11-13
Hudson Seafest Celebration, Port Richey
Nov 4-6
14th Annual American Indian Arts Celebration, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
Nov 4-6
Sebastian Clambake Lagoon Festival, Sebastian
Nov 3-6
Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, Tavares
Nov 5
26th annual Highlands Hammock Civilian Conservation Corps Festival, Sebring
Nov 5
4th annual Stone Crab Jam, Crystal River
Nov 5
21st Annual Sarasota Blues Festival, Sarasota
Nov 5
2011 Blues 'n Bar-B-Que, Homosassa
Nov 5-6
Ruskin Seafood Festival, Ruskin
Nov 5-6
Festival of the Arts, Inverness
Nov 5-6
Tenth Annual Winter Park Concours d'Elegance, Winter Park
Nov 6
Conga Caliente Festival, Tampa
Nov 12
Harvest Jamboree and Hunter's BBQ, Astor
Nov 12-13
Quilts and Tea Festival, Davenport
Nov 11-13
Cape Coral Coconut Festival, Cape Coral
Nov 12-13
23rd Annual St. Armands Art Festival, Sarasota
Nov 12-13
Homosassa Arts, Crafts and Seafood Festival, Old Homosassa

South  Florida
Oct 20-23
Key Largo Pirates Festival, Key Largo
Oct 21-30
Fantasy Fest, Key West
Oct 21-30
Oktoberfest, Cape Coral
Oct 22-23
Third annual Coconut Creek Craft Festival, Coconut Creek
Oct 22-23
Edible Garden Festival, Coral Gables
Oct 22-23
Las Olas Art Fair with Oktoberfest Beer Garden, Fort Lauderdale
Nov 3-6
FGCU-Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Sanibel Island
Nov 4-6
Ninth Annual Feast of Little Italy, Jupiter
Nov 5-6
Biannual Estero Fine Art Show, Estero
Nov 7
Flamingo Family Food Festival, Davie
Nov 6
29th Annual Taste of the Town, Fort Myers
Nov 2-6
American Sandsculpting Championship Festival, Fort Myers Beach
Nov 11-13
The 71st annual Ramble A Garden Festival, Coral Gables
Nov 13-20
Miami Book Fair International, Miami
North  Florida
Oct 20-30
Pensacola Interstate Fair, Pensacola
Oct 21-23
Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival, Niceville
Oct 29
Fall Festival, High Springs
Oct 29-30
Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, Micanopy
Nov 5-6
Sea and Sky Spectacular, Jacksonville Beach
Nov 4-5
48th Annual Florida Seafood Festival, Apalachicola
Nov 6
26th Annual Great Chowder Debate, St. Augustine
Nov 11
Veteran's Day Parade, Jacksonville
Nov 12-14
St. Augustine Pirate Gathering 2010, St. Augustine


West Miami

West Miami is a tiny city of approximately 6,000 residents. The City of West Miami, along with more than 30 other municipalities, exists within Miami-Dade County. Since approximately 1984, in order to establish a "community-wide" visual aesthetic, Miami-Dade County has had a Sign Code which, among other features, does not allow digital billboards anywhere in the County.

West Miami’s city council was looking for additional revenue in these tough times and it recently adopted an ordinance that allows billboards including digitals.

The residents of City of West Miami decided to fight this. Led by Leticia Vega, Ph.D with help from Scenic Miami, Inc. and Scenic Miami-Dade County, Inc. the residents prepared and filed papers to commence referendum proceedings to accomplish the wholesale repeal of the West Miami ordinance that had "allowed" the digital billboards.

The City Commission of the City of West Miami, responding to the residents, announced that it will repeal the flawed ordinance and scheduled the first hearing to accomplish that goal as quickly as it could.

Now the residents just have to figure out how to take down the one billboard that was slipped in while the ordinance was (apparently illegally) in place during the course of the proceedings. GOOD job to our friends in West Miami and at Scenic Miami-Dade County.



Boynton Beach Sued

By Clearchannel

Photo: The Palm Beach Post Blog


ClearChannel sign spelled city name wrong twice in 2009, NOW they sue the city for the right to light it up

"A billboard company has sued the city, saying it violated a court settlement when it banned a lit billboard along Interstate 95.

In a suit filed Monday, Clear Channel Outdoor alleges that it should be allowed to use lights on the sign on High Ridge Road, halfway between Gateway Boulevard and Minor Road.

The sign now carries an ad for Panera Bread.

Florida Outdoor Advertising sued the city in 2000 after Boynton officials had turned down several applications.

In 2001, a federal judge ruled that the city's sign code, which officials had used to reject 15 billboards over two years, violated the First Amendment.

In a settlement, the city allowed Florida Outdoor six billboards, including one on High Ridge Road.

Clear Channel Outdoor and a business partner, Hardin Holdings, bought the billboard from Florida Outdoor in April 2008 and applied to convert it to a lit sign in February 2009.

The suit says the city at first approved that change, but then rejected it, saying that adding the lighting violated the 2001 settlement.

Clear Channel argues in the lawsuit that the signs met the terms of the settlement, Florida Department of Transportation rules and federal guidelines. But the city turned it down again in April 2010, the company said."

--Eliot Kleinberg, The Palm Beach Post News



Mark Your Calendars For

Nov 19!

Friends of A1A Are Holding A

Super Scenic

72 Mile Garage Sale

What better way to discover and celebrate our nationally proclaimed A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway than to be a buyer or a seller in the Super Scenic 72 Mile Garage Sale on Saturday, November 19 from 8 am to 1 pm.

A popular tradition in other states, it's time for a multi-mile highway sale in Florida.

Group sites are located on A1A in Ponte Vedra, South Ponte Vedra, Vilano Beach, Camachee Island, City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Crescent Beach, Marineland, The Hammocks, Beverly Beach, Flagler Beach.

It's an opportunity for those who live in Planned Unit Develpments which don't allow residents to have yard sales to set up a space in one of the group sites, recycle unwanted goods for cash, and make the event into a social get together with neighbors.

The advantage for buyers is to be able to caravan along an easy-to-follow route, create a Friends-Out-Day event, and end with lunch at a fun restaurant along the way home.

A raffle has four vacation packages including hotel, restaurant and entertainment as prizes, free for minimum purchase, or available online. Local businesses can participate to provide promotional discount coupons at some sites that include advertising on the Scenic A1A website.

Contribution for vendors is $15 to have a site flag to help with promotion. Participants keep all proceeds from their sales. Register at to reserve your spot. Further details for sellers on the website or by phone.

As an added bonus, stop at 45 places along the way indicated by location signs to enjoy the A1A Cell phone Tour by dfialing 904.596.0029, given in both English and Spanish, and learn about nature, history and travel.

Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway is a non-profit organization that protects, preserves, and enhances resources along the A1A National Scenic Byway. Proceeds in support of this citizen advocacy organiation enable strong partnerships with municipalities, governmental agencies and other civic groups to maintain and improve resources along the corridor.



Additional News


Photo: archive photo

King County, WA

Delay Granted On Digital Billboards! Thanks to all the scenic friends for their help!

"A King County Council vote to allow digital billboards was postponed Monday, after the Council discovered that an environmental review had not been completed for the controversial measure.

The measure would allow the conversion of standard billboards to digital ones in unincorporated areas in King County. That currently applies to 19 large, double-sided signs. Critics say the bill would create “visual pollution” that distracts drivers and suck up energy. ...

...The measure required an environmental review, which had not been completed before the vote. The measure is now scheduled for consideration on Oct. 24."

-- Vanessa Ho, Seattlepi

Rapid City, SD

"Lamar Advertising wants a circuit court judge to intervene in a dispute with the Rapid City Zoning Board of Adjustment by ordering it to grant Lamar sign building permits for six billboard locations within the city.

During Wednesday's hearing before 7th Circuit Judge Wally Eklund, Joel Landeen from the city attorney's office said Lamar representative Terry Olson applied for the sign building permits prior to the June referendum that ultimately banned new digital billboards.

In April, Lamar applied for six sign building permits to convert six existing signs by installing digital faces. City building officials denied the permits on the basis that each required a conditional use permit from the city Planning Commission before building permits could be issued. Lamar filed the request with the court in late July.

When asked by Landeen, Olson denied submitting the applications in April to get them approved prior to the election.

'At the time we made the applications, they would have been legal,' Olson responded.

Lamar has taken its challenge of the referendum to federal court..."

-- Andrea J. Cook, Rapid City Journal

Vancover, B.C.

Bright Lights Annoy Resident

"B.C. Place Stadium is beyond the reach of Vancouver city hall, meaning a resident who lives nearby may have to sue to get the Terry Fox Plaza advertising screen turned off.

The B.C. Enterprise Corporation Act exempts the stadium from civic bylaws. B.C. Pavilion Corporation holds the land fee-simple, which would make it subject to local government bylaws, if not for the Act that governs PavCo, according to Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations spokeswoman Cheekwan Ho.

'It is provincial, if they choose not to seek any city oversight they don’t have to,' said Coun. Geoff Meggs.

David Cookson started a Facebook campaign called Take the Giant Screen Down Now after the stadium’s exterior flashing advertising screen lit up his condominium suite four blocks away on Richards Street. 'What we’ve got here is the equivalent of a visual ghetto blaster, creating this visual noise for our entire community,' said Cookson. 'This frankly desecrates the Terry Fox memorial.'

The screen displays a loop of advertisements, mainly for Telus, and may contravene the city’s sign bylaw, which states: “The illumination for any sign shall not create a direct glare upon any surrounding site, street or lane ..."

-- Bob Mackin, The Vancouver Courier

Walker, MI

Walker passes ordinance amendment affirming digital billboard ban

"The City Commission affirmed Walker's position that digital billboards are not allowed under zoning rules Monday by passing an ordinance amendment that further codifies structural definitions of the TV-like displays...

The city is still a party in a lawsuit in federal district court brought by Lamar Advertising Co., which sued last year after officials denied it building permits to convert a pair of static billboards along I-96.

Walker won a partial dismissal of the suit this summer, when Judge Robert Holmes Bell ruled the city's moratorium on construction of such billboards was valid. He is scheduled to pick up the remainder of the suit next month now that the city has passed its ban."

-- Garrett Ellison, The Grand Rapids Press