Isn’t beauty in the "eye of the beholder"?
Contemporary visual preference surveys demonstrate surprising consistency in what people find attractive and visually pleasing. And for many centuries philosophers have identified basic elements of beauty, such as authenticity, order, and harmony. As with almost any other public issues, experts can provide general guidance -- through design review processes -- to allow for individual creativity.
How does sign regulation affect local business?
Moderate and creative signage is actually good for business. Effective signage for local shops can increase business by providing an attractive destination without the clutter of signs “outscreaming” each other. But overwhelming use of billboards can lower property values and add to the deterioration of a shopping area.
Don’t individual's property rights need to be protected too?
William F. Buckley, a renowned conservative commentator has written: "…If a homeowner desires to construct a huge Coca-Cola sign facing his homestead rather than a public highway…he certainly should be left free to do so. But if he wants to face the sign toward us, that is something else." Intrusive uses of property should be regulated under lawful protections like any other public nuisance.
What about the First Amendment -- freedom of speech?
Generally the content of messages should enjoy protections as commercial "speech." But the methods of advertising on buildings – particularly when large structures are involved, should be subject to traditional zoning regulations as well as innovative approaches such as architectural design guideline.