Summary of Existing Law and New Proposal to Amend the City of San Diego’s Sign Ordinance
San Diego’s sign ordinance has endured for 40 years through multiple court challenges and a battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The City Council first enacted a billboard ban targeting signs near freeways in 1962. After years of study and debate, in 1972 the Council enacted a city-wide ban on off-site advertising signs to phase out billboards. More litigation followed, ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1981 struck the ordinance but gave guidance on how it could be amended to be constitutional.
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Scenic San Diego is an all-volunteer coalition of concerned citizens and organizations who favor strong sign ordinances and oppose billboards and other advertising sign proliferation.