Posts Tagged ‘billboards’

Billboard proliferation detracts from Sussex as a destination

April 18, 2009

Billboard proliferation continues unabated in Sussex County.  It seems like the first thing people do when they buy a piece of commercial property is to erect a billboard.  I understand the economics.  The more income you can get off a piece of property the better.  It helps pay the mortgage.  The problem is that Sussex County’s permissive billboard policies allow us to stack commercial upon commercial.  Not only can you build a commercial enterprise on your commercial land and erect the related signage, you can also put up billboards on the property to advertise other people’s businesses, so long as you have proper spacing between billboards.  In a concentrated commercial area like Route 1 between Nassau Overpass and Rehoboth Beach, the large number of billboards not only distracts from the many businesses trying to attract customers along the highway, they also detract from the natural beauty of our area – the fields and trees and waterways.  It’s one thing to have commercial signage for businesses, but when the clutter of ever-increasing billboards begins to tangle the messages into one large indistinguishable and eye-numbing blur, the commercial advantage begins to decline and with that the attractiveness to our area for tourism.  A computer-modeled build-out scenario showing how many billboards could be constructed in Sussex County under current regulations might open our eyes and allow us to develop new billboard guidelines that will be beneficial to all in Sussex County over the long haul.