Metro Parks poised to change billboard policy

Metro Parks Commission is poised to revise its policies on billboard advertising. During its July 9 meeting, it heard the first reading of a resolution that would have the agency no longer put ads on billboards that are considered non-conforming by the city of Tacoma.

The proposed change is related to a long-running legal feud between the city and Clear Channel, the media giant that owns the majority of billboards in Tacoma.

Some billboards are considered to be out of compliance with the city’s sign rules, as a result of the location, size or condition.

Commissioner Erik Hanberg proposed the commission take this action. Metro Parks has at least one sign deemed to be out of compliance, at the intersection of 6th and Sprague avenues. Commissioner Aaron Pointer asked how many other signs the agency is advertising on that are non-conforming. Hanberg said Metro Parks is waiting for an answer to this from the city.

Metro Parks has a contract to have the current advertisements on billboards through this summer. Other ads to promote Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will be running during the holiday season at the end of the year, but the agency has no contracts to run billboard advertising after that.

Hanberg said he would be interested in Metro Parks having billboard ads on signs outside the city limits that conform to local sign codes, or perhaps placing ads on transit busses. “We can find other means that conform with the law,” he remarked.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the resolution during its July 23 meeting.

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