To: BARRY MORGENSTERN,
Date: Mon Mar 02 01:10:50 MST 2015
It has come to my attention that you will hear a bill this Tuesday morning (HB 407) sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel. It proposes an amendment to the current rules governing Outdoor Advertising along our Scenic Byways and All-American Road.
HR 407 removes the current authority assigned to towns and counties to decide whether to grant permits to private land owners (along a designated "scenic byway within their jurisdiction) to "segment off" their land so that billboards may be erected and other types of outdoor advertising currently discouraged or not allowed along scenic byways.
With the change (if passed), ALL applications for segmentation "SHALL" be granted without question, whether the applications come from owners themselves, from tenants, or from the entities that seek to erect the billboard through leasing of the land along the highway. This is an unnecessary and dangerous change that removes authority from counties and towns to decide what they want to see along the scenic vistas through their counties. It will degrade our scenic byways to the point that eventually their scenic byway designation would have to be revoked, UDOT would lose its funding to maintain these routes, and our number one economic driver--tourism--will be sharply challenged. There is simply no need, nor justification for this degradation. Utahns value their scenic routes and want them protected. We need our healthy tourism market to stay strong. So I urge you to defeat this bill in committee. Thank you.
Torrey, Utah (Wayne County)