The N.C. Department of Transportation has scheduled a public hearing in Asheville for Monday, August 13, to take comments on proposed permanent rules for vegetation removal at outdoor advertising locations within highway rights of way. The rules are the result of legislation passed in the 2011 session of the N.C. General Assembly, allowing a significant increase in the cutting zones around billboards. (photo by Edward Ingle)
For the second Asheville City Council meeting in a row, the issue of the city’s possible involvement in a lawsuit against new rules allowing more clear-cutting around billboards was a major topic. This time, Council went into closed session to discuss its legal options for joining the fray.
A temporary restraining order is being requested today to keep the N.C. Department of Transportation from permitting vegetation removal—primarily trees—under new state rules that allow larger zones and clear-cutting in the public right-of-way by outdoor advertising agencies.
Opponents of the state’s new billboard law prepared a complaint and temporary restraining order request Feb. 29, 2012, in Wake County Superior Court. The legal action by Scenic NC, Inc., is aimed at keeping the N.C. Department of Transportation from permitting vegetation removal – primarily trees – in front of billboards and other outdoor advertising under new temporary rules set to take effect March 1.
The city of Asheville, at the Sierra Club’s request, may file an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit against new state rules that allow clear-cutting around billboards. Asheville City Council also approved a rezoning necessary for a Lenoir-Rhyne University satellite campus in the chamber of commerce building. Photo of future campus site by Max Cooper.
There are 8,000 billboards along North Carolina’s highways, and the rules just changed for cutting trees that affect the “viewing zone.” (photo by G. Pace)
In the wake of a raid at the Shogun Buffet on Brevard Road that sent 12 immigrant workers to jail earlier this month, a Raleigh-based nonprofit is sponsoring a series of billboards across the state that aim to put a human face on immigration.