Friday, June 12, 2015

San Francisco makes sugary drinks a land use

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to require a warning on any advertisement for sugary drinks, which must cover 20% of the advertisement and read as follows:  "WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco."  

That much has been covered in the media.  What has not been covered, and which would be of interest to this community, is that the advertisement warning also affects billboards and other "general advertising signs," which is San Francisco-speak for off-site signs.  For those with an interest in the intersection of Coke and land use, a review of the ordinance, which is available here, would prove fascinating.  The ordinance appears to still need the Mayor's signature before it becomes law.

My personal warning:  the particularities of how the warning requirement is written with regard to general advertising signs has much to do with the history of San Francisco sign legislation.  I am not going to go through all of that here; if anyone has a need to understand it better, though, feel free to email me and I'll walk you through it (I used to practice land use law in San Francisco).  Further, in most cities, such legislation could be written in a less convoluted fashion for those seeking to use this legislation as a model for regulating billboards.

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