Wilmington may adopt Asheville’s billboard model

Asheville’s attitude towards billboards is inspiring Wilmington to examine if the plan is right for them, the Wilmington Star-News is reporting. A Hooters billboard at the city’s gateway has inspired criticism by City Council there, and they may find a solution in Asheville’s 2004 ordinance.

“Wilmington officials are looking to the city of Asheville, which passed a similar billboard ordinance that allowed it to ban new billboards and work with sign operators to relocate existing billboards to other areas of the city,” the Star-News reports. “Asheville is one of few cities, or perhaps the only one, in the state to have such an ordinance, said Robert Oast, Asheville’s city attorney. Oast said it has worked for Asheville.”

Asheville’s ordinance put a cap on new billboards and provided a method to negotiate with sign companies and encourage them to move into preferred locations.

— staff writer Brian Postelle

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