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It's a Sign. Of What, We're Not Entirely Sure.

The Planning Commission's Signage Map. Click here for the interactive beta version.

No more than a brief mention, but City Insider reports that since a law was passed in 2006 banning new billboards and grandfathering only those permitted before March 5, 2002, our local urban landscape has lost 733 illegal signs, with 109 offenders yet to go. One might ask "what's taking so long?" On the other hand, the 24-hour illegal sign hotline can sometimes be deployed in error, as in the fracas over a vintage Coca-Cola billboard in Bernal Heights where a neighbor complained and the the old sign's fate went all the way up the food chain to the Board of Supervisors.

In a clever gambit to reach out for feedback (less meetings!) the Planning Department has a map (still in beta, so be gentle) of the current inventory of billboards with this disclaimer:

?...inclusion of a sign in the map does not reflect any determination of the current legal status or compliance under the Planning Code or any other applicable laws or ordinances.Hard to know what masterworks of early-21st Century advertising genius will be lost, but we won't know that for a few decades. 860 signs are apparently legal and some, like a tribe of graphic refugees, are eligible for re-location. We will, however, miss the (entirely legal) Yahoo! sign looming over the freeway in SOMA. In the style of '30s billboards and neon— and already retro when it went up in 1999— the icon of the Dot.Com exuberance came down in late 2011.
· More Than 100 Illegal Signs Up In SF [City Insider]
· General Advetising Sign Map (Draft) [SFPD]
· Bernal Heights Coca-Cola Sign Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]
· Billboards Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]
· The End Of An Era: The Yahoo! Billboard Comes Down [The San Francisco Egotist]