Scenic Nevada works to protect and preserve the scenic qualities of our state. A community’s history, culture, geography, and scenic qualities often form the backbone of civic pride. These qualities are worth fighting for. Scenic beauty is good for business. In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that scenic areas and beautiful communities are the places where people most want to live, work, and visit.
More and more, however, our communities and major highways look exactly the same, and billboards are one of the major culprits. Billboards and other signs blot out communities’ natural beauty and architecture, assets that should be highlighted, not hidden behind ugly billboards. Communities don’t have to live with billboard blight. Across the country, citizens and local officials have worked together to fight the billboard industry and protect their communities.
We are dedicated to reducing the visual impacts of billboards. Since our formation in 2000, we have worked to reduce the number, height, size, and placement of signs throughout Nevada using the following strategies:
- Work to ban new billboard construction
- Advocate for moratoriums until bans are in place
- Educate public officials on the economic, aesthetic and social costs of billboards
- Promote use of Tourist Directional Signs on highways
- Participate in community meetings to advocate for strong sign controls
- Spread our message through email alerts and local broadcast and print media interviews on the benefits of strong sign controls
- Partner with local groups to provide lecture series on protecting public spaces from the visual blight of billboards and other signs
Minimizing the Impact of Cell Towers
The popularity of cell phones continues to dominate modern culture. With the ease and convenience of instant communication in your pocket comes the reality that cell phone towers rising 70 to 100 feet are a necessity that punctuates the landscape of our cities and countryside.
As cell phone use climbs so does the need to provide more towers keeping us connected. Today, cell phone towers aren’t limited to locations along the highway. Competition for sites has caused them to appear along secondary roads, on neighborhood streets, in parks, and sometimes in scenic viewsheds.
Clearly, this proliferation of towers can lead to visual chaos, which is why communities need to develop code requirements classifying them as special uses requiring stringent review criteria, including public hearings. It gives citizens concerned by the height or placement of a tower proposed in their neighborhood the opportunity to weigh in on possible mitigations or ask for site-sensitive locations.
We advocate for incentives and controls to encourage wireless telecommunication companies to minimize the impact and visibility of their structures. Possibilities include camouflaging them to blend into the environment. We also encourage co-location so that multiple companies share space. Where appropriate we support neighborhood groups in public hearings concerning cell phone tower placements.
Protecting Nevada’s Scenic Byways
We strive to cultivate strong citizen interest in Nevada’s four national scenic byways and 30 state scenic byways by advocating for their protection and promotion as well as encouraging participation in the state’s Adopt-a Highway litter control program. There is currently no mechanism in place for Nevada citizens to nominate new routes for byways designations, but we are following the Nevada Department of Transportation’s progress to reinstate the program.
Promoting Undergrounding Utility Wires
We support Nevada communities and utility companies working together to reduce the visual impact of utility lines and poles: saving scenic beauty, improving safety, reducing utility disruptions, and increasing property values.