By Sue Ellen Woodcock
For years Ron Chapeaux, Carol Haney and the Revere Beautification Committee have been working to get the billboards of Revere under control, now with the help of the city council zoning committee that might just happen.
At the Oct. 23 City Council meeting Zoning Subcommittee Chair Jessica Giannino presented the City Council with the Sub-Committee Report.
“This is a continuing effort to address sign issues,” Chapeaux said.
“The current ordinance needs to be scrapped,” Haney said. “We’re starting from base one.”
City Solicitor Paul Capizzi said there are municipalities that don’t allow billboards. Without an exact figure, it was also noted that Revere, compared to other municipalities, has the most billboards. Possible language for a revised billboard ordinance was discussed. Several action items were also discussed including, restrictions, maintenance, yearly maintenance inspections, and letters from Council to MassDOT. The next meeting of the Billboard Ordinance Sub-Committee will be held on November 13 at 5 p.m.
“There are two goals,” Chapeaux said afterwards. “First to see if we want billboards, second to address the maintenance of billboards and third to see if we need a new ordinance for electronic billboards.”
No matter what happens the new billboard ordinance has to be in place by March 2018 when the current moratorium on billboards expires. By that time there will have been a year and a half since any new billboards came into Revere.
There is also discussion about fines for billboard companies. Right now its $100 for a violation for unkempt billboards and bit of a process on the city side. It’s up to the committee to determine future fines.
“Some don’t mow the grass, others have trash around them,” Chapeaux said.
Unfortunately, Chapeaux said, the new ordinance will not be able to address the billboards the city currently has.
“It’ll help that terrible billboard on Broadway and Revere Street,” Chapeaux said, regarding the empty billboard from Clear Channel Communications and the tattered remains of past billboards there. “It’s in tatters but this will address the issue.”