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Commissioners pass billboard moratorium

June 09, 2004|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to ban the construction of new billboards for up to 90 days while planning staff members make recommendations on new height and location restrictions.All but one commissioner voted for the billboard moratorium, which took effect immediately.

Commissioner John C. Munson opposed the ban, saying it would hurt advertisers and billboard companies.

The moratorium doesn't affect billboard applications that have been accepted by the county, nor does it affect existing billboards. It would apply to applications requesting that the square footage of existing billboards be changed.

County laws now allow billboards of up to 1,000 square feet, nearly twice the size of some along Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

County Attorney Richard Douglas said the commissioners will review the billboard moratorium after 90 days to determine whether the ban should be lifted or remain in place.

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