In Oakland, only zones C-(commercial) 35, 36, 40, 45, 51, 55, 60 and zones
M-(industrial) 20, 30, and 40 permit outdoor advertising. But check this out................
Shattuck is zoned C-10, no billboards permissible.
San Pablo is zoned C-30, except the 30th St. triangle, no billboards permissible.
Telegraph is zoned C-28 from 36th through 66th St., no billboards permissible.
College is zoned C-31, no billboards permissible.
MLK is zoned C-30, no billboards permissible.
Market is zoned C-40 only at Stanford St., the rest not zoned for billboards.
Grand is C-30 and Lakeshore is C-20, billboards not permissible.
Park is C-20 and C-28, billboards not permissible.
McArthur zoned C-40 only from Broadway to Piedmont. Its c-30 and C25
Ardley to 35th, and c-31 to High St., billboards not permissible.
Foothill is zoned c-40 only at 13-14th Ave, the rest is not zoned for billboards.
E14th is zoned for billboards C-40 up to 14th Ave, then its zoned c-28 until
26th Ave, and from 31st Ave to 38th Ave, billboards not permissible.

Do you live near any of these streets? Many billboards in zones where they arent permitted.
Oakland has about 1500 billboards, owned by Eller Media and Outdoor Systems. In the
summer of 1998, Oakland restricted alcohol and tobacco ads to about 90 billboards, and got
sued by both billboard companies.

Oakland also passed a law to get rid of (“AMORTIZE”) about 180 billboards that were in
residential areas, got sued, and then amended the law. Now Outdoor Systems has agreed
to take down 85 billboards over a 10 year period. The city has not been able to get Eller
Media to the table for a similar agreement.

Though black and white drinking habits are about the same, there are 3 times more alcohol
billboards in black neighborhoods compared to white neighborhoods.

On billboards, advertisers spend $2 for every 1000 people, on TV they spend $29 to reach
1000 people. Billboards are a bargain for advertisers at the expense of how our
neighborhoods look.

Through 1998, cigarettes were the #1 advertised products on billboards, alcohol #2. Then
the federal tobacco settlement ended tobacco advertising on billboards. Now, tobacco taxes
go to the state to pay for stop-smoking billboards, which are looking more and more like
cigarette ads.

San Diego tried to get rid of billboards, but courts struck down their law in 1981.

Maine, Hawaii, Vermont, and Alaska have no billboards. Vermonts law says
“Ostensibly located on private property, the real and sole value of a billboard is its proximity
to a public thoroughfare; thus the regulation of billboards is not so much a regulation of
private property as it is a regulation of the use of the streets and other public thoroughfares.”

The US Supreme Court in 1932 ruled:
“Billboards, street car signs, and placards and such are in a class by themselves. . .
Advertisements of this sort are constantly before the eyes of observers . . .
to be seen without the exercise of choice or volition on their part. . .
The young people as well as the adults have the message of the billboard thrust upon them
by all the arts and devices that skill can produce. . .
The radio can be turned off, but not so the billboard or street card placard. These distinctions
clearly place this type of advertisement in a position to be classified so that regulations or
prohibitions may be imposed upon all within the class.”

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