One of Scenic Philadelphia’s most important victories has been the removal of 958 illegal billboards. For decades, these small billboards (called “eight sheets” in the advertising business) could be found bolted to the walls of corner stores, small businesses, and abandoned buildings all over Philadelphia. The company responsible for the signs never sought permits for the signs and refused to pay violation fees! Finally, because of Scenic Philadelphia’s effort and advocacy, all illegal eight-sheets were removed by February 2007.
New: With the help of L&I’s enforcement, property owners throughout Philadelphia are beginning to remove eight sheets from their building facades. View some before and after photographs here.
The smallest type of billboard is called an eight sheet, and is usually placed in areas where there are pedestrians and slow moving traffic. Eight sheets are placed on small poles or bolted directly on to the side of buildings. Because eight sheets are located around homes, schools, and playgrounds, there is concern about the influence they have on children and specific ethnic groups.
For additional eight sheet photographs, click here.
PNE Media’s Illegal Eight Sheets
Because eight sheets are easy to erect, they often have no permit and are illegal. However, the City of Philadelphia is currently in the process of getting hundreds of these signs removed. The City is focusing its actions on PNE Media, a billboard company that owns hundreds of illegal eight sheets throughout Philadelphia.
A list of these illegal eight sheets can be found here. It is searchable by both councilmanic district and zip code.
Contact information for PNE Media can be found in the contact billboard companies section of our website.
Because of the City’s initiative, there has been a lot of recent press regarding eight sheet billboards. In March, The Inquirer wrote about the City’s work on determining the legality of the billboards. In July WB17 featured a story about eight sheets on their nightly news.
The Inquirer and Citypaper wrote stories about a hearing of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, in which the Board gave PNE Media 60 days to either remove or file variances for their 900+ eight sheet billboards.