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How have several billboards been allowed to appear this year in Wilmington?

Shelby Sebens

You might be seeing new billboards in Wilmington because when the city passed a change to its land development code pertaining to billboards in September 2008, it allowed companies to relocate existing billboards that were in the city’s “gateways.” The gateways were identified as Dawson and Wooster streets from the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge to 16th Street, North Third Street and North College Road.

They were also allowed to relocate other existing billboards as long as the total number of outdoor advertising signs didn’t increase, according to city communications manager Malissa Talbert.

Changes to date have included the installation of four new billboards – two on Oleander Drive at the Independence Mall and 41st Street, one at Market Street near Dodge’s store and one on South College Road near Ace Hardware. These new billboards – four with a total of eight faces – represent the removal of eight faces from the Dawson/Wooster Corridor.

“There will be no increase in the number of billboards, faces or sizes, but there will be changes in location as companies give up one location for another,” Tablert stated in an e-mail. “The regulation changes were comprehensive and have restrictions on height, size, illumination, separation and enhancements, just to name a few.”

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