The Myth of 31 Billboards: How Our City Council Takes Credit for Saving us From Imaginary Billboards

September 15, 2016

The myth of 31 Billboards. A brief review of the Billboard debacle from FOIA documents.

Must Watch Video... (double click video to enlarge)


Links to Documents listed in the References:

Map of 31 "Vested" Billboard Locations

Supreme Court of Georgia Billboard Ruling

The map of 17 locations without Fulton County existing rezoning
conditions that would prohibit the installation of the billboard

Billboard Settlement Agreement

Billboard Settlement Map

Post of the Status Regarding most recent Billboard applications:

2 Billboards Hit Roadblocks: 1 Taken Down

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15 comments on “The Myth of 31 Billboards: How Our City Council Takes Credit for Saving us From Imaginary Billboards”

  1. When news of the settlement broke 2 years ago I personally visited each of the proposed locations and spoke to the people working in businesses at those locations. In many cases I spoke to the business owner or got contact information for the owner, and many of them told me they would not want a billboard at their location. Most business owners are as much opposed to the unsightly signs as the residents of Johns Creek.

    1. I personally spoke to the folks at Take5 Oil Change while that billboard was being constructed. I told them the area didn’t want billboards. They didn’t seem to care. I have since noticed a sign twirler for that business on the nearby sidewalk.

  2. I've repeatedly heard how COJC negotiated this great deal from the man that negotiated it.

    Not once have I heard what the Billboard companies got out of this "great deal".

    So, what would have been the incentive to give up the majority of their locations in these negotiations for the billboard companies.

    No rational people that I know would A) agree to sit down and negotiate when the highest court in Georgia has granted a clear victory and then B) negotiate a worse deal going from 31 to 10 locations.

    On the other hand, it makes perfect sense to understand why they would have wanted to negotiate if they went from less than 10 billboards to 10.

    Anyone else have an understanding why the billboard companies would have negotiated themselves from 31 to 10 as they want us to believe?

    1. Because the 10 were digital and the 31 were non-digital. There were far more than 31 approved legal sites as well. Editor needs to read all the documents.

  3. The settlement tells you how many actual billboards the city would have gotten.


    They include 7 locations from the original ones into the settlement. If they had additional viable locations, the billboard companies would have included them, or even not need to make a settlement.

    1. This is absolutely true, there are 7 addresses in common between the old Fulton County map and the final settlement. However please note, 3 of these addresses are listed twice on the old Fulton County map.

  4. This is a very helpful video. Remember that None of the property owners spoken to at the original 31 locations would have permitted billboards on their property. Just because billboard companies Wanted 31 locations in No way meant they ever had those secured. The video helps us understand rhetoric from reality.

  5. The more that you study the issue the more convoluted it appears. Billboard companies flooded Fulton County with permits for signs on properties that they did not own and for which they had no rights, from what I have read.

    And because of this action, they were granted the "rights" to install billboards going forward, once the sign ordinance was found unconstitutional?

    What legal principal allows someone to apply for a permit for anything on MY property without my permission?

    And then if they cannot secure a deal for MY property, they are then offered alternative locations?

    Let's see you even try and get a permit for something on someone else's property and see how far you get.

  6. It seems the city council, over-rided the free market.

    Property owners have a vested interest in keeping the values and quality up over there portfolio, and thus scoffed at the notion of billboards.

    By allowing the billboard owners to shop around the city for new sites, ensured the community gets 10 build-able billboards.

  7. Appreciate the effort on summarizing this upsetting issue. I also see that the city leaders continue to not care about the neighborhoods that have to deal with these billboards. Particularly Medlock Bridge subdivision who will now have 3 billboards within view of our neighborhood. We luckly stopped the cell tower but now are it with the billboards.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Mr. Tracy.

      Yes, it appears that nearby Medlock Bridge and St Ives subdivisions can get more billboards than if the City did not agree the settlement.
      The advantage of the settlement for the billboard companies was that they could cherry pick locations to include in the settlement prior to agreeing to it.

      Would they include non-viable locations (that did not want a billboard) in the settlement?

  8. Mike Bodker deserves credit for helping get our city started. But that was 10 years ago. Can anyone point out what he has accomplished since then? You can't use our great schools, enviable housing stock, or low crime rate as examples since they are largely the result of our fortunate socio-economics.

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