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Billboard Regulations (2011)

Billboard Regulations (2011)

City Council Adoption

The City Council adopted Substitute Ordinance No. 28009 on August 9, 2011, concerning revisions to the sign code, based upon the Planning Commission's recommendations, that would prohibit digital billboards, modify certain definitions, change uses and zones buffered from billboards, and change the way nonconforming billboards are addressed.

Substitute Ordinance No. 28009 - August 9, 2011

City Council Public Hearing

The City Council conducted a public hearing on July 19, 2011 to receive public comment on potential revisions to the sign code as recommended by the Planning Commission.


City Council Public Hearing Notice - Billboard Regulations - July 19, 2011

Planning Commission Recommendation

After consideration of public testimony, the Planning Commission completed their Findings and Recommendations Report to the City Council at their meeting on May 18, 2011.  In brief, the Commission has recommended that digital billboards be prohibited in the City of Tacoma and has provided proposed code amendments to that effect.  The following documents describe the recommendation in detail.Letter of Recommendation
Findings and Recommendations
Exhibit A: Recommended Draft Code Amendments
Exhibit B: Revised Public Review Draft Code Amendments - Not Recommended

Planning Commission Public Hearing

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on March 16, 2011, concerning the proposed Zoning Code revisions for billboards, and kept the hearing record open through March 25.  Thirty-three (33) citizens testified at the public hearing, and 245 pieces of written were received. 

A summary of the oral testimony and all written comments are compiled into two volumes, as posted below.  Also posted are the packets reviewed by the Planning Commission at three meetings subsequent to the public hearing. Billboards - Public Testimony (Vol. 1) - March 28, 2011
Billboards - Public Testimony (Vol. 2) - March 29, 2011

The Central Neighborhood Council Packet - cover letter included in Vol. 1 as Comment #69.
Billboards - Planning Commission Review Packet - May 4, 2011
Billboards - Planning Commission Review Packet - May 20, 2011
Billboards - Planning Commission Review Packet - April 6, 2011

Information Prepared for the Public Hearing on March 16, 2011

Supplemental Public Hearing Notice- March 6, 2011
Public Hearing Notice March 16, 2011
Revised Staff Report - revised March 7, 2011 
Public Review Booklet - March 16, 2011
Billboards - Frequently Asked Questions - revised March 7, 2011

Special Notice - New Information

When the Settlement Agreement between the City and Clear Channel Outdoor was signed by City officials, it had with it three exhibits:

  1. A list of proposed locations for the first ten digital billboards.
  2. A list of billboards and structures to be removed in exchange for allowing the first ten digital billboards.
  3. A list of billboard relocation permits to be relinquished. 

The official exhibits are those on file with the City Clerk. However, staff was inadvertently working from a different version of the second exhibit. This different version was used for mapping and analysis which was provided to the Planning Commission and posted on the City’s website in February 2011. The map showing the billboard faces proposed for removal has been corrected, as have the staff report and the related exhibit. The correct information is provided in the following documents: Corrected Exhibit 2: Billboards to be Removed
Map of Digital Billboard Receiving Areas (proposed) and Billboard Panels to be Removed - revised
Comparison Table - A comparison of the corrected list of billboard faces proposed for removal and the previous list of billboards
Corrected Settlement Agreement

What is the effect of this new information?

Throughout the analysis and in all presentations, staff have referred to the removal of 53 billboard faces.  However, the correct number is 54. In addition, those removals will now occur at 30 different sites, rather than 33 sites. The corrected list shows the complete removal of more structures, 25 instead of 21, but one less rooftop sign removal, five instead of six.  In most cases, the changes are to the number of faces removed from a single structure.  However, there are four sites where total removal of billboard faces and structure has changed.  

There are two sites where both billboard faces and the structure were proposed to be removed, but the corrected list shows that no changes will be made. Those are at 7017 South Tacoma Way and at 1215 Martin Luther King Way.

There are two sites where no removals were proposed, but the corrected list shows that both faces and the structure will be removed. Those are at 5441 South Sheridan and 2102 South 12th Street. 

Summary of Removed Billboards


Previous List

Corrected List

Faces removed



Sites impacted



Full structures removed



Rooftop faces removed



Square footage of faces removed




Relevant Documents

Community Workshop - January 31, 2011
Community Workshop Presentation
Existing Receiving Areas with Existing Billboards
Digital Billboards - Clear Channel Video
Proposed Location Map of Removed Billboards and New Digital Billboards - January 4, 2011
Billboards - Planning Commission Review Packet - January 5, 2011
Billboards - Planning Commission Meeting Handouts - December 15, 2010

Staff Contact

Shirley Schultz
(253) 591-5121