I was surprised and saddened to read in October that Hardeeville is considering taller, bigger highway billboards.
I was surprised because the trend in environmentally and aesthetically conscious communities around the country (fortunately) seems to be in the opposite direction.
In driving in the North last summer, I was impressed by how many towns and communities -- and even whole states -- no longer allow highway billboards. Instead, they rely on small, attractive, standardized signs clustered on a dignified post near the edge of the town or commercial area. These signs typically give name, function and location (two miles on your right, etc.) of the various commercial enterprises.
I find these signs fully adequate to help me find anything I might want. I presume the businesses pay a fee and the community maintains the signs. I wonder whether anyone is losing money for lack of a giant billboard. Have detailed cost studies been made showing that these bigger billboards will give some great economic advantage?
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I was saddened because I am not attracted to an area spoiling the landscape and blasting its way into my vision with 60-foot-high highway billboards. Building 100-foot-high billboards of 672 square feet is no more likely to make me want to stop and shop there. I think Hardeeville is shooting itself in the foot.
And do you know what those big billboards cost? I think you can buy a couple of small homes for the cost of one of them.
Daniel H. Daniels