Land Use Controls and the Unzoned Loophole

Loopholes in the designation of commercial and industrial zones, the exemption of on-premise signs, a lack of national standards, reliance upon the use of eminent domain rather than the police power to remove non-conforming signs, and inadequate appropriations for the program have been the main causes of the HBA’s ineffectiveness.

HBA: A Failure of Land Use Controls
by Charles F. Floyd
Professor of Real Estate, University of Georgia

Billboard control and removal under the Highway Beautification Act has largely been a failure, achieving little toward the accomplishment of stated Congressional goals.  Extensive amendment and vigorous administration are essential if the Act is ever to be effective.

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A Letter from the Unzoned Commercial Area Loophole
by Charles F. Floyd
Professor of Real Estate, University of Georgia

Charles F. Floyd takes readers on a visit to the unzoned commerical area loophope found in the Highway Beautification Act.  Professor Floyd explains that when the HBA was passed, the outdoor advertising industry persuaded Congress that new billboards should be allowed in all commercial and industrial areas, and since many counties were unzoned, new billboards should be allowed in unzoned areas that were truly commercial or industrial in character.  What constituted an “unzoned commercial or industrial area” was not defined.

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Requiem for the Highway Beautification Act
by Charles F. Floyd
Professor of Real Estate, University of Georgia

The Highway Beautification Act is a failure.  It has been unsuccessful in either removing existing billboard clutter from rural roadsides or preventing its spread.  In the past several years the act has become even more ineffective, being almost totally transformed into a sign industry dominated program that is actually enriching and subsidizing the industry it was meant to regulate, and serving as a protective umbrella to shield that industry from state and local governments that desire to effectively control billboard blight.  Repeal or extensive revision of the HBA now appears to offer the only hope for achievement of the original aims of the beautification program.

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