I am fairly new to the business, but I will have my first two signs (LEDs) operational by July 1 so I know the ropes some now. The problem I am having is that there are few heavily populated cities in my state and the biggest ones either have ordinances or moratoriums against billboards. There are very few “killer” spots left that don’t already have a sign on location already. Has any one had any luck getting cities to change their policies to allow new signs? There are a few that have no signs that I would love to get some LEDs up in, but no luck. I was thinking about offering a percentage to the city or something like that, but most are weathy cities and I don’t think this would be an enticing offer to them…any thoughts?
Yes, I’ve obtained variances to build signs in moratorium before. I won my cases using two different incentives 1) billboards will increase traffic to local businesses allowing for more sales, employment and sales tax and 2) I’ve offered “Welcome to …” signs each way into town on the highway if they will approve two or three billboards. You are correct that money does not always motivate wealthy cities (in fact, it may be illegal to offer money in some cities in exchange for a variance), but these kind of barter exchanges seem to go farther than money, anyway.
I am planning on approaching a town that doesn’t allow billboards. In negotiating with towns that does not allow billboard, do you think it’s necessary to hire an attorney or should I approach the town ZBA / selectmen myself?
Approach them yourself. But do it behind the scenes initially – just like the professional lobbyists do. Get their input on what would be an acceptable trade-off for a billboard location. I’ve used as barter a "Welcome to