New digital billboards are officially banned in Knox County.
The commission on Monday approved the second reading of an ordinance that prevents companies from converting traditional – or “static” - billboards to digital form. Existing ones can stay under a grandfather clause.
Officials have yet to reach a decision on what to do about traditional billboards. Some don't want any new ones, and other board members feel they've done enough.
The commission is expected to talk more about the issue in the next month or so.
In the meantime, the county won't issue new permits for traditional billboards, since legislation to ban them is still pending.
“It seemed that the vast majority of the people who contacted the commission were not in favor of digital billboards and were in favor of the ban,” commission Chairman Tony Norman said. “There were a lot of people at the meetings, a lot of emails and there was a continuous stream of people coming up to us.”
The second reading was approved in a 7-4 vote, with commissioners Jeff Ownby, Brad Anders, R. Larry Smith and Dave Wright dissenting.