A moratorium on billboards in Peabody is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt wrote a letter to the City Council earlier this month in which he said he supported a billboard moratorium.
In January, the council authorized the mayor to enter into lease agreements for two city-owned parcels for billboards. Bettencourt said at the time the billboards could bring $700,000 to Peabody. The parcels were at 3 Newbury St. (near the Holiday Inn) and undeveloped land next off Jubilee Drive.
However, two weeks later, Bettencourt sent a letter to the council backing a moratorium because Peabody has “reached a point of saturation,” he wrote.
“Given Peabody’s desirable location at the cross section of Route 128, Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, and given the growth of billboard advertising across Massachusetts, it is no surprise that Peabody has generated such keen interest from outdoor advertisers. With the economy still struggling to pick up steam and state aid to Peabody projected to fall, our shared efforts to generate sorely needed revenue through billboard advertising were both well placed and well intentioned.
“However, with the billboards previously authorized by the City Council, including your recent approval of two that I had proposed, I believe that we as a City have reached a point of saturation. I commend the Council for taking up this issue and urge swift action in moving forward with a moratorium,” wrote Bettencourt.