Castle Rock Rejects Giant Billboard

On October 2, 2012 the Town Council of Castle Rock, CO rescinded their prior approval of an LED sign for an auto dealership. The dealership had proposed a 750 square foot sign, which included a 500 square foot LED screen. The dealership requested a variance from the sign code to allow what would have been one of the largest LED signs in the state.

At the Town Council hearing in July, over 40 people spoke against the proposed variance, including Larry Barrett, representing Scenic Colorado. Only a handful spoke in favor of the proposed sign, and they were all connected with the dealership. The Town Council voted to allow the sign, even though town staff had opposed it and the planning commission recommended against it.

The citizens then undertook a petition drive to put the question on the ballot. Nearly 2,000 valid signatures were obtained in just over one week to meet the filing deadline. The petition opposed the application and people signed readily. A few days later the auto dealership withdrew its application.

The Town of Castle Rock then faced the dilemma of a) accepting the petition and allowing the referendum or b) rescinding the ordinance permitting the sign and obviating the need for a referendum. Scenic Colorado spoke at the public hearing on October 2 noting that the public typically opposes billboards at a rate of about 80% and when citizens have a chance to vote the opposition is about 70%. This is based on information from Scenic America compiled from multiple surveys and several votes taken in recent decades.

Even though the application for the sign was not a billboard, it was larger than the majority of billboards in the state. The Town Council recognized the public preferences and the seven council members voted unanimously to rescind the ordinance permitting the sign. As a consequence the south side of Castle Rock will continue to have a scenic view of its town and the surrounding hills and mesas.

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