Fighting billboards in Missouri

 

Congratulations on your incredible article "Billboards vs. Democracy" in the Jan. 23, 2012, issue. My neighbor brought me the issue, knowing my dislike for billboards.

Your research for the article was amazing -- so thorough and comprehensive. The only detail I would add is that digital billboards are energy hogs.

Our Kansas City neighborhoods were shocked when a highway-size billboard went up in a small neighborhood shopping center, adjacent to houses and an elementary school.

Neighbors were alarmed to find out it was legal because our city ordinance was so permissive. It took three years and two city councils to pass a very strong billboard ordinance that limits size, height, spacing and digital billboards. The main reason for the passage was lots and lots of grassroots support and pressure, a city councilman who was willing to stick his neck out, and education from the visual preservation group Scenic Missouri.

We can't give up. We can't let advertising trump the beauty of our cities and country.

Carol Winterowd
Kansas City, Missouri