“Back then, I went and did a count and we had about eight to 10 billboards from Bee Creek Road all the way out this direction towards Spicewood, [at Hwy. 71's intersection with Spur 191],” Chandler said.
In 1965 Lady Bird Johnson spearheaded an effort to reduce the amount of outdoor commercial advertising along the countries’ highways. The Highway Beautification Act set restrictions on the size, spacing, lighting and height requirements of billboards on certain roadways. Prior to installation, an entity would be required to meet a series of standards in order to obtain a license.
However, while the state is entitled to enforce a stricter set of regulations, the restrictions provided by the HBA are relatively minimal, according to Adam Hammons, a public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Chandler said that until there are greater restrictions placed on outdoor advertising, some Spicewood residents are calling for a boycott on the businesses and advertising firms who choose to add to the already cluttered roadway. He added residents are placing calls to these companies warning them of the backlash.
“It’s not hard to boycott these businesses; a lot of them are out of our area,” Chandler said.
Representative Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, has taken notice of the area’s complaints and is scheduling a town hall meeting for Dec. 17*, according to a statement from Madeline White, Goodwin’s chief of staff.
“During the legislative session, I was proud to co-author [House Bill] 1303 by Representative Erin Zwiener, which would have prohibited the ability to erect billboards along certain roads in Hays County," Goodwin said in an email. "I know that preserving the natural scenery and beauty of the Texas Hill Country matters deeply to my constituents, and I am researching possible solutions on the issue.”