New rules on North Carolina billboards head to House floor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Proposed rules likely making it more expensive for North Carolina and local governments when they must remove billboards for new road or infrastructure projects is heading to the state House floor.

Debate on the measure backed by the outdoor advertising industry but opposed by the state Department of Transportation and environmental groups was slated for Wednesday.

Currently the transportation agency, cities and towns must provide “just compensation” when a new road requires the billboard be taken down or relocated, but the billboard industry says they receive very little. The proposal sets out several factors that governments must consider that critics say would send compensation costs soaring.

The measure also eases rules protecting some trees along roadsides and replacing conventional billboards with digital advertising.