Tacoma Urbanist

Jun. 3, 2011 at 12:01am

100 Percent of Tacoma Speakers Support Billboard Moratorium

On Wednesday June 1, around 35 Tacoma residents gathered during the work day in Tacoma City Council Chambers.  A good number of them stood up and spoke for the proposed billboard moratorium and against the threat of digital billboards in Tacoma before the Tacoma Planning Commission. (Audio is here)

The testimony was consistent with the hundreds of Tacomans who previously submitted written testimony against digital billboard here and here, 95 percent of which opposed digital billboards.

During Wednesday's hearing before the Planning Commission, 100 percent of Tacomans who spoke (about 15 speakers) spoke for the billboard moratorium and against digital billboards.

The audio is worth listening to and can be found here.


Former Ad executive Jamie Chase gave an inside look as to how media companies operate and submitted a significant volume of industry related material.

Attorney Doug Schafer described how weak Clear Channel's threats of litigation were and that most of the substantive decisions on billboards was made in 1988 rather than in 1997. He started his presentation by pointing out that when Olivia Lippens gives her address at each of the public hearings, she repeatedly fails to state she is from SEATTLE.

City Council Candidate Anders Ibsen gave some good insights

RR Anderson attacked digital billboards Stephen Colbert style

Attorney Beverly Ibsen pointed out some legal equity theories ("unclean hands") that would come into play should the matter go to court.

Olivia Lippen, Clear Channel's representative, gave her perfunctory testimony to the Planning Commission in opposition to the moratorium.  However, with public opinion organized and universally against digital billboards, increasingly dis-favorable legal opinions being issued and the mounting political opposition to her proposal, she seemed resigned to the moratorium and the banning of digital billboards altogether.

Tricia DeOme, Britton Sukys, Jill Jensen, Ross Buffington and others gave great speeches as well.

The words "constitution matters" was said a seemingly endless number of times. 

For more information, see the Central Neighborhood Council website.

Next step: The Tacoma City Council has taken a commendable step in issuing the moratorium.  they need to now follow through and ban digital billboards and enforce the 1997 billboard law so the blighted billboards littering Tacoma's neighborhoods can be removed.

comments [11]  |  posted under tacoma


by Erik on 6/3/2011 @ 1:04am

(photo by Tacomamama)

Enough of these already!!!


by L.S.Erhardt on 6/3/2011 @ 1:43am
I am so tired of this issue going on.
TO'T = burned out

by NineInchNachos on 6/3/2011 @ 7:57am
TO'T - thanks for sharing, now please git out of the way.


by thriceallamerican on 6/3/2011 @ 8:59am
Any idea how much it would cost to buy billboard space with inspirational phrases such as "Obey", "Surrender", "This Billboard Kills Motorists", etc.?

by NineInchNachos on 6/3/2011 @ 9:06am
FREE! Just find a billboard that looks like photo above. Helps to know people in print a shop.

by Erik on 6/3/2011 @ 12:38pm
@Thorax: Most Tacomans would certainly like to go about their daily lives.

However, with the City of Tacoma being having it's skyline dominated with massive 24/7commercial spam machines, Tacomans have no choice but to respond.

by Erik on 6/3/2011 @ 3:05pm
RR Anderson made a video of his testimony before the Planning Commission here:


by Erik on 6/4/2011 @ 3:08pm

Looks like the City of Tacoma City Council is going to have the pubic hearing on banning digital billboards on July 19, 2011.

The council will decide when to hold the public hearing on June 21st.

Here is the agenda packet. The staff language re: digital billboards is encouraging.


More work to do though especially if the city keeps getting threats of "litigation."

by Erik on 6/7/2011 @ 12:37am
Update on threat of digital bilboards in Tacoma via City Manager report:

See page 6:


by Erik on 6/14/2011 @ 11:38am
Update of billboard issue via the Tacoma Daily Index:

Today at noon, members of Tacoma's planning commission are scheduled to update city councilmembers on comments received during a public hearing June 1 and its recommendations on the moratorium, which include "retaining the moratorium, clarifying its effect on the maintenance of existing billboards, and examining its implication on billboard relocation permits." The planning commission will discuss these recommendations today 12 p.m. at Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., Room 16. A preview of today's presentation was included in Tacoma City Manager's weekly report to City Councilmembers on Thurs., June 9 ( cms.cityoftacoma.org/cityclerk/Files/Cit... ).

According to the planning commission's Power Point presentation, approximately 95 per cent of public testimony opposed digital billboards due to "aesthetic concerns (too large, too tall, too many), safety concerns (driver distraction), special receiving areas contrary to zoning, not supported by the Comprehensive Plan, light pollution and energy use, and opposition to the settlement agreement."


by CaptainBritton on 6/14/2011 @ 11:44am
Go Go Planning Commission!