To Amplify Clearwater’s Beauty and Scenic Character
The story began with sign clutter control:
It took decades to get:
Clearwater billboards removed
Beauty is Good for Business: How the City of Clearwater tackled its signage and won
Tourists visiting this city on Florida’s west coast typically use Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, a six-lane commercial thoroughfare, to reach Clearwater’s most famous destination, its sugar-sand beach. The street’s purpose is clear: to funnel traffic to the beach and to serve tourists’ and residents’ needs for hotels, restaurants, gas stations and stores.
Thirty years ago, it was no scenic gateway. Big on-premise business signs as well as billboards – 49 of them along a four-mile stretch – dominated the skyline. Portable signs with flashing lights and misspelled words flashed messages at motorists. And there was virtually nothing green to soften barren expanses of asphalt.
Today, though, visitors gazing down Gulf-to-Bay see a much-improved vista. The skyline features oak trees and palms, with comparatively unobtrusive business signs below them. And this fall, 30 years after the city passed a sign ordinance so tough that it affected virtually every business property in the city and led to years-long legal battles, the last of those 49 billboards finally will [did] come down.
Minutes it took to remove the last billboard
What else should we do?
Clearwater is a fine example of what citizen can accomplish in their own community.
Please send us your own ideas on how we can continue to improve the beauty and scenic character of Clearwater.