Land Use Commission meeting, July 13.

Evanston’s Land Use Commission unanimously recommended Wednesday night that no more billboards be allowed in the city.

Evanston only has about half a dozen of the large, outdoor signs, mostly along the Metra tracks on Green Bay Road.

A billboard on the Union Pacific embankment along Green Bay Road north of Foster Street. (2019 Google Maps image)

Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) had previously suggested allowing additional billboards facing the Metra and CTA tracks, “as a way to increase revenue for both property owners and the City,” according to land use panel minutes.

The question has bounced back and forth between council and the commission.

But LUC chair Matt Rodgers said there was no new evidence suggesting that the group should change its previous opposition, so the issue was sent back to council, which has final say.

Rodgers said allowing new billboards would be “contrary to the character of the city.”

The already existing billboards are grandfathered and do not have to be torn down.

At least two other alders besides Suffredin have expressed a willingness to at least consider more billboards facing the Metra and CTA tracks.

Rodgers said, “City Council can decide whatever City Council wants, but we’re still unanimously against this.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation


  1. I want to know if that means the existing billboards (sherman and Greenwood) will be removed? Neighbor

  2. There is an opportunity here to assess the equity of where the billboards are currently located and in which neighborhoods the opportunities for new billboards would impose an undue burden.

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