PF planning gets 16 billboard site plans | News

PIGEON FORGE — The billboard blitz is back on, as Pigeon Forge Planning Commission will review site plans for 16 new billboards at its regular meeting.

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Many of those were postponed last month while the city considered new sign regulations.

City commission approved the new ordinances earlier this month, and a moratorium on considering new site plans will end today (Tuesday, April 27).

The earlier sign ordinances had different rules for billboards — categorized as “off premise” advertisements — and signs for businesses at the same location.

The new rules no longer differentiate between billboards and other signs. Local and federal court rulings have found that ordinances that differentiate between billboards and other signs run afoul of the Constitution because they are based on the content of the signs.

With new ordinances in place and the moratorium over, the planning commission will review a raft of new site plans when it meets at 3 p.m. today at City Hall.

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“We haven’t allowed a new billboard in Pigeon Forge in several years,” Community Development Director David Taylor said.

The old ordinances didn’t allow for new billboards, although owners could relocate them inside the city.

Because of that, most of the city’s billboards were along the Parkway. The new proposals include new billboards along Veterans Boulevard, Wears Valley, Teaster Lane and the Parkway.

“We’ll have to review those based on the new ordinances,” Taylor said.

Those ordinances have restrictions for all signs based on size, limiting them to 200 square feet.

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