Billboard laws in Raleigh

Photo by Terry Bowling

Table of Contents

#FridayFunFact Look around Raleigh, and you’ll see a lot of new construction and development — but we bet some things you won’t see many of are billboards. You know, those sky-high, 48-feet-across signs marketing everything from your favorite burger to the best air conditioner repairman in town? Lots of cities have them, usually along the sides of roads, highways + interstates. But the battle to minimize Raleigh’s billboard footprint has been going on for decades. Here’s what’s up:

  • In the late ‘80s, N.C. + several of its cities passed ordinances locally and statewide to reduce “visual pollution” for drivers.
  • In Wake County, current limits on billboards restrict digital imagery + only allow for pole-mounted signs to reach a height of 30 feet.
  • Attempts have been made over the years to fight those ordinances, but most have failed.
  • Last summer, a bill (HB645) passed both the state House + the Senate, which would have allowed for the relocation of billboards around the state, as well as permitting digital screen billboards + increasing pole heights to 50 feet.
  • That bill was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper, who stated that the language of the legislation did not consider the consent of local communities in enacting the new ordinances — “Local governments should have more of a say in where their communities allow billboards,” he said.

So for now, we can expect things to stay much the same.


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