Scenic Houston began as a group of concerned business leaders who saw that the billboard boom of the 60s and 70s was adverselyy affecting the City’s image. By 1980, there were more than 10,000 (with the number rising) of these unpermitted billboards in Houston. Thanks to Scenic Houston’s advocacy efforts, in the early 1980s a municipal sign code was put in place that prohibited new billboards and provided for reduction, over time, of existing billboards. The Houston billboard inventory has dropped significantly. There are fewer than 1,600 billboards in Houston today, almost all along the major freeways where federal law protects them from removal.