Billboards, Aesthetics and Police Power

Judicial attitudes towards aesthetics have shifted rather dramatically during the past century from one of outright hostility to general recognition of aesthetics as a sole justification for use of the police power.

Billboards, Aesthetics, and the Police Power
by Charles F. Floyd
Professor of Real Estate, University of Georgia


This paper reviews the historical development of judicial attitudes towards aesthetics and billboard regulations, examining in some detail the case of Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego.  It also examines legislative developments during the same period which have largely negated judicial gains for scenic beauty proponents.  It concludes that the realistic forecast for the foreseeable future is for more and larger billboards spread along more and more of both our urban and rural roadsides.

Read the full paper (PDF)