continued Gaxiola and Batista also complain that the new billboard makers in town are putting them in green zones, on historic buildings, and on bridges, all against city regulations. In the meantime, to build billboards legally, Batista and Gaxiola and a handful of other local companies go through an involved process. "First," Gaxiola explains, "you rent the area from the landowner. You have your own engineers see if the billboard you want to make can be done on that location and put together a plan for the billboard. With all that information, you go to the municipal government's planning department. You sign a request and you show them your plans. You have to make sure that the sign is completely over private property. It can't hang over the street. And it has to be able to withstand wind of 120 kilometers per hour. You leave the plans there, and you don't pay anything yet. They say to come back in ten days. In the meantime, they send their engineers out to check the site. If everything is all right, then they issue the permit, and you have to pay about 3000 pesos [about $330]."
Rent paid by the billboard company to the owner of the land upon which a billboard is erected usually equals about one month's rent charged to the advertiser. That figure depends on size and location of the sign. "It could be $10,000 per month for a big billboard near the border," Batista says, "and a small one here in Rio Tijuana would be $300 to $400. It depends on how much traffic, how many other billboards are around. If the area is crowded with carteleras, the price goes down."
Gaxiola and Batista are in the process of forming an outdoor-advertising association to try to help regulate, set standards, and "restore order" to the billboard business. Gaxiola has spoken to the mayor, Jesús González Reyes, on the subject. "I told him that a group of us would like to speak about the problem with him. What we want is order, and he says he wants to bring order to Tijuana."
"But right now," Batista adds, "these companies are coming in the night and putting up very expensive billboards and making our city look ugly. And the city doesn't do anything about it."