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Localities Might Gain Billboard Regulatory Power

April 28, 1998
By: Lucas Wall
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Local governments would be able to regulate billboards under an amendment the House of Representatives passed Tuesday.

The amendment, tacked onto a Senate bill, would allow local governments to adopt regulations about outdoor advertising that are more restrictive than the existing height, size, lighting and spacing provisions of state law.

Karl Kruse of Scenic Missouri, an anti-billboard group, called the amendment a step in the right direction.

"This is a very exciting development," Kruse said. "Similar bills have been ferociously fought by the billboard lobby in the past."

Rep. Brian May, D-St. Louis, sponsored the amendment. He said outdoor advertisers supported the amendment as a compromise.

Scenic Missouri is collecting signatures on an initiative petition that would amend the state constitution to give localities the right to regulate billboards. Kruse said the petition effort will continue because it would give localities more regulatory authority than the amendment.