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Do You Support a Billboard Moratorium in Peabody?

A letter by Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt endorsing a billboard moratorium is on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.

One of the most recent billboards approved. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
One of the most recent billboards approved. Photo credit: Patch file photo.

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. 

Here’s the full agenda for Monday’s meeting.

Sharon Fermon February 24, 2014 at 04:56 PM
There has never been enough sign control in Peabody and now it's completely out-of-control with the out-sized and garish billboards in question. Although they might add $$ to the City, it's a deal with the devil because of the eyesores they create. Enough!
Steve February 24, 2014 at 05:04 PM
Yes! finally......this should have been done when the first ultra bright signs started going up. Its a little late now, but that's our goverment for you...always late, except when it comes to tax increases.
Dan Walcott February 24, 2014 at 05:48 PM
I don't feel any city should be leasing public property for any business. When did we start allowing Government to compete with private business? The only thing I see a garish or an eyesore are the power lines in the photo above. If we are banning pizza promotions, why not ban power lines at the same time? The city would look beautiful if it weren't for those power lines.
Fran C. April 23, 2014 at 03:37 PM
Enough is enough.Can this cause driver distraction ????Does this create issues with homes?That should be the first thought before even allowing anymore.Does this mean no tax hike next year ???
Dan Walcott April 23, 2014 at 03:55 PM
If we start legislating due to driver distraction we may end up putting our pretty ladies in Burkas as not to cause accidents. The number one job of driving is, driving not sight seeing. There is a good debate on whether some of the new LED billboards are turned up to brightly. Those who are professionals know the candle light to use. Unfortunately while billboards get the rap, many business signs are doing the same things without complaint.

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