Benton puts temporary ban on new billboards along I-30

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Benton City Council unanimously approved a moratorium Tuesday on any new billboards from going up along I-30.

“Too much clutter along the interstate is not good,” Farrel Turbyfill said.

When it comes to those Billboards on I-30 in Benton, drivers like Janet Sandoval can agree those digital billboards are distracting.

“The ones that have been here for a while they’re not that bad. The ones that are digital, however, are too bright I would say,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval has witnessed these billboards nearly cause accidents.

“We’ve been driving down the interstate and someone will look over and then they’ll end up trying to sideswipe someone or just kind of slamming on their brakes because they didn’t see someone stop in front of them,” she said.

Tuesday, the Benton City Council held a special meeting to unanimously pass a moratorium–or a temporary ban–on any new billboards in the city. 

“Billboards in general, I think just block aesthetic value of the city,” Brad Jordan said.

Brad Jordan is the director of Community and Economic Development. He is working with the city on a new sign ordinance.

“We haven’t gotten all the way through it yet, so we had to initiate a sign moratorium,” he said.

That new ordinance comes after complaints about digital billboards. This temporary ban will keep any new ones from going up.

“The look of them to people is not something that they want here in the city and they want to be able to see stores and trees and things like that.” Jordan said. “We don’t want big lighted walls all the way down our city.”

Sandoval thinks this ban will help with the light pollution, especially as the Benton and Bryant area continues to see more growth.

“You got plenty of people around here who know there’s multiple things that have opened. I understand the advertising portion of it, but there is an influx of too many, too fast,” she said.

Signs on-premise — or business property — will not be affected by this ban. 

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