Councillors Hear about Billboard Ordinance

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria came to Revere Monday night to attend a City Council meeting, but he wasn’t there as a public official, he was there as a businessman concerned about billboards.

DeMaria, who owns a Honey Dew Donuts on Squire Road, spoke for the first time on this issue and asked if it was possible to consider digital billboardsvv in his business area. The regulations as proposed only allow digital billboards in the Lee Burbank Highway district.

He suggested perhaps reducing static billboards with digital billboards. Digital billboards have the capacity to have several billboards that change ads every few minutes.

For the past few years a committee has been working on the billboard zoning ordinance with the most recent public hearing being held in February.

“I have a business for the past 20 years and I have a free-standing sign that’s been there before Santoro’s,” DeMaria said . “So I’m asking if Squire Road could have the opportunity to advertise some businesses. I ask you to consider my business district.”

The ordinance is a collaboration of the Revere Beautification Committee, city planner Frank Stringi, City Solicitor Paul Capezzi, Carol Haney and Ron Champaux. The late Councillor Bob Haas also worked on the ordinance.

“It’s a quality of life issue. We don’t want anymore billboards,” said Ward 1 City Councillor Joanne McKenna, who also worked on the ordinance.

“We’re going in the right direction, let’s keep going,” Champaux said.

The proposed ordinance prohibits the future proliferation of billboards in Revere. Digital signage (not just billboards) will be regulated, and converting a static billboard to a digital billboard will require a special permit. No new billboards will be allowed.

The city currently has 31 billboards, with six in the Lee Burbank Highway district and 25 in other districts around the city. Safety and maintenance standards have been put into the ordinance.

The city council sent the proposed billboard ordinance to the zoning subcommittee before final approval.

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