New Mexico Town Considering Billboard Ordinance

Alamogordo, New Mexico city staff presented a proposed new sign ordinance at the City Commission meeting on August 22nd.  The ordinance, as proposed, would make the addition of new billboards unlawful.  It would also require that existing billboards would have to be removed over the next 5 years.  There would be an appeals process that would allow the Planning and Zoning Commission to grant 12 month extensions with a maximum extension period of 10 years.

Representatives from both Lamar and Lindmark Outdoor attended the meeting to provide testimony to the commission. Lindmark is newer to the area after their purchase of a portion of New Mexico assets from Newman Outdoor in 2016. Lindmark had recently erected a double stacked billboard three months ago which probably sparked the discussion of putting a sign ordinance in place.

In the testimony the service aspect of billboards in helping promote local business was stressed.  It was also pointed out to the commission that most of the billboards are on federally-funded highways in the area, even within the city limits, and are protected by both federal and state statutes. The statutes provide for just compensation to the owners of those billboards if it is required for them to be removed. A current case in Farmington, NM between Lamar Advertising and the New Mexico Department of Transportation was referenced as an example. NMDOT is taking down a couple of signs and is going through a negotiation process with Landmark to get just compensations for loss of future revenue on signs that are having to be removed so a street can be widened.

After the testimony the City Commission decided to table the item for further review.  You can read more at Alamogordo Daily News.

 

 


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