That Thing About the City of Houston and Digital Billboards

THAT THING ABOUT THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND DIGITAL BILLBOARDS A reader with “nothing better to do today” writes in with a question for Swamplot readers: “I do not see any digital billboards in Houston city limits. I see them popping up in Baytown and I’m sure elsewhere, but why not H-Town? One would think that this would be a win-win for the owners of the billboards and the businesses wanting to advertise their product. I see them all over Dallas — Houston, not so much.” Photo: Houston Public Media

21 Comment

  • What kind of sick individual actually clamors for more butt ugly, monstrous billboards?

  • Ed;

    Some rube from Dallas ?

  • Houston adopted an aggressive sign code in 1980 that essentially prohibits new billboards. The city can’t compel the removal of existing signs, but they won’t issue permits for renovation or replacement.

  • Simple, Houston has a development guideline that bans new billboards. Old billboards are grandfathered until they are taken down.

  • i wish to see more to be honest, its good money for the city, owners, and advertisers.

  • I detest those LED billboards. West U Baptist church added just a very small one to their front lawn some years back. In those dark early morning drives to work, that thing is such a blinding distraction that I find myself having to concentrate harder just to stay on the road.

    Houston struggles making itself pretty as it is. It needs more signage like it needs another faux mediterranean stripmall with a mattress firm and a bank in it.

  • Hey guys I’ve got something to say:
    “not so much” is a dumb expression and I don’t like it and people should stop using it.

  • … Also “wait for it” is dumb too. I don’t know why I keep seeing that in news articles. I don’t like it and people should stop using it.

  • Michael Kubosh, at large councilman #3, wants to see these monstrosities come to Houston, using the excuse they can be co-opted by government in times of need. Hogwash. Keep them out!

  • Digital billboards are a major eyesore. Regular billboards are annoying as well but at least they don’t blind you at night. So glad that Houston only takes billboards down and won’t allow new ones to be built.

  • New Digital billboards are illegal in Houston, Austin and Ft. Worth. Existing ones may linger but no new ones will be built.

    Ugly and distracting. If you want them, go somewhere else.

  • “What kind of sick individual actually clamors for more butt ugly, monstrous billboards?”
    1. An individual with different tastes than you.
    2. An individual wanting to sell stuff to people who drive cars.
    3. An individual who embraces and enjoys humanity and the artifacts humanity produces.

  • Most people in Houston have more important things to worry about at 9:33 in the morning. Silver Apple-wait for it- not so much.

  • “3. An individual who embraces and enjoys humanity and the artifacts humanity produces.”
    Ah yes, the artifact of billboards! There’s a reach if I’ve ever heard one!

  • Enjoy your superiority, in this, over Austin. J Lo, Austin did for awhile have a policy of attrition – if a billboard fell down, or if a property owner decided they didn’t want it anymore – and it lost some 125 billboards that way. But evidently at some point the Council decided to go back to allowing relocation. On designated “billboard corridors, ” if I understand aright. Here, neighborhood, have some blight on us!

  • artifact – noun 1. any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.

  • Banning regular billboards still seems like a great idea – maybe they could take the idea further and un-grandfather any and all billboards which might be located inside the Loop. As a compromise these new electronic billboards could be allowed directly on the sides of buildings (with obvious and non-obvious restrictions perfectly calibrated to help not only billboard owners but also nearby residents).

  • Better: Everyone has free internet.
    Sell away there, and not on the roadways.
    I totally agree that, in the dark, these lighted signs are a menace! Have to squint, hunch down and put a hand over the eyes until passing the crazy thing.

  • Funny thing I learned recently — a client called and asked about installing an LED on-premises sign, giving me my first chance to review the Harris County sign ordinance. Under the ordinance these are referred to as “spectacular signs”. Quite a term of art.