Supreme Court upholds Reno billboard initiative

It took the Nevada Supreme Court only a few minutes to cite a new interpretation of Nevada's initiative petition rules.

After the court ruled Tuesday on Douglas County's growth limit, justices applied the same logic to a November vote in Reno to prohibit construction of new off-premise billboards.

The justices said both matters were proper for initiative petitions because they established countywide policy on the subject of growth and development rather than mandating a specific administrative decision.

Eller Media, a major billboard company, had challenged the initiative petition on the same grounds developers challenged the Douglas County growth limits, saying the billboard ban was an improper matter for an initiative petition because such issues are reserved for the city council.

The high court disagreed. Citing its decision released the same day in the Douglas County case, the court ruled the billboard petition was legislative and policy making in character.

"The billboard petition did not merely apply previously declared policies or laws," the opinion states. "Rather, it articulated an entirely new policy -- it prohibited construction of new off-premise billboards throughout the city off Reno."

That means the ban on new billboard permits in Reno will go into effect.


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