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Scenic La Crosse

Keeping God's Country Beautiful

Billboards and Signs in La Crosse County: Overview

La Crosse has the second most billboards in the state. Wisconsin has the fifth most in the U.S. Four years ago this billboard was erected by the Monegan Overhead on HWY 16 without notice to neighbors on Milson Court across the road, blocking their view of the LaX River Marsh through their windows and affecting their property values. This can happen anywhere where legislation isn’t in place.

Recently, it was converted to an electronic billboard, again without any notice to neighbors.

“It looks like a television screen sitting on my deck running day and night.” - A Neighbor.

“It is 200 feet from my bedroom window, and my backyard is lit up all night long.” - Milson Ct. Neighbor.

“What about my property value? Who will want to buy my house now?” - Milson Ct. Neighbor.

The sign company would like to convert another billboard on HWY 16, plus both sides at 110 Copeland Avenue, one on South Avenue at 425 Nelson Place, and one at 3325 Mormon Coulee Road. What about neighboring homes, apartments, and businesses? Electronic billboards have intensely bright images that change every 6-8 seconds 24 hours a day, distract drivers with changing messages, and consume much more energy.

The sign industry is also promoting electronic "on-premises" signs to merchants and institutions that can change messages every 1/2 seconds. Imagine what our community would look like if just 10% of the existing signs were converted to electronic digital LED signs? Businesses end up feeling a need for an electronic sign simply to compete. In the end, all businesses end up “disappearing” amidst the visual distraction.

We have an opportunity to promote local business with better regulations regarding size, height and brightness of signs.

And how about our roads and highways? States devoted to scenic beauty use directional billboards along highways like you see in the photo on the right. There are less expensive and more effective options for controlling “sign blight.”

Most people who live in, move to, or visit our area value the scenic beauty of our towns and cities, and the rural character of the surrounding areas. Given the street options above, where would you rather come to visit, shop, dine, or stay overnight? And how about our roads and highways? States devoted to scenic beauty use directional billboards along highways like you see in the photo on the right. There are less expensive and more effective options for controlling “sign blight.”

Most people who live in, move to, or visit our area value the scenic beauty of our towns and cities, and the rural character of the surrounding areas. Given the street options above, where would you rather come to visit, shop, dine, or stay overnight?

We need to be proactive! Sign companies are aggressive in challenging laws and local ordinances. It is important to clarify ordinances, enforcement, and legal rights to ensure the community voice is heard.

We are working closely with neighbors and citizens throughout the county to advocate for improved regulation for outdoor advertising that promotes business needs while protecting neighboring residential and business property, and enhances our scenic Coulee Region.

Please help by attending meetings and contacting elected and civic leaders in your city or town, and at the county level. Your input and support is needed to pass improved standards!

NOTE: You can PRINT a leaflet version of the information on this page by clicking here to obtain the file (pdf).