A Missouri state House bill seeks to decrease city and county control over billboard regulations. Photo by Kathy Feist

Meeting discusses local control of billboards, features new city manager

“If this passes, it will wipe out the restrictive billboard ordinance we passed in 2007 under Mayor Mark Funkhouse.”

By Kathy Feist

Center Planning and Development,  which advocates for neighborhoods in the south Kansas City area, will hold a virtual meeting Tuesday, February 23, starting at 7 pm. The organization will feature a Q&A with City Manager Brian Platt, a crime report from South Patrol spokesperson Aaron Whitehead, and an update on a residential area.

But the primary concern for the organizers is a House Bill being introduced at the state level that will decrease local control over billboards.

“Any city or county shall have the authority to adopt regulations with respect to outdoor advertising that are more restrictive than the height, size, lighting, and spacing provisions of sections 226.500 to 226.600; except that, such regulations shall not have the effect of prohibiting outdoor advertising in its entirety, unless the location proposed is 5 adjacent to a highway designated as a scenic byway under federal law. In locations where outdoor advertising is prohibited under federal or state law due to proximity to a scenic byway, all utilities shall be buried underground.” (The bold verbiage represents the proposed changes.)

The bill was introduced by Representative Chris Sander, who represents parts of Cass, Jackson, and Lafayette counties (District 33).

President Carole Winterowd says Center Planning and Development has been fighting billboard ordinances since 2005 when Winterowd was informed of an oversized billboard that appeared at 89th and Wornall on the Princess Gardens’ property. The sign was similar in size to highway billboards. A more restrictive billboard was passed in 2007 under Mayor Mark Funkhouser. “If this passes, it will wipe out the restrictive billboard ordinance we passed,” she says. “It would be the worst thing possible.”

Two years ago, the city council approved an ordinance allowing digital billboards along the highway.

Organizers encourage residents to notify their State Representative in regards 2021 MO H1115.

To attend the meeting via Zoom, register in advance at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpc-mvrTMrG90jAjGuI_GulAdYSHdZRI3S

After registering,  a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting will be sent.

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