Electronic Billboards Continue to be a Hot Topic at Council Meeting

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria came back to Revere Monday night to attend another City Council meeting to talk about his idea to reduce the number of billboards.

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

For the past few years, a  committee has been working on the billboard zoning ordinance to clean up the billboards in the city. The ordinance has been held in subcommittee.

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.

DeMaria hopes to get the zoning for his area changed to allow digital billboards in a general business district, which could include Broadway and the Shirley Avenue area.

This time he brought outdoor advertising professional Peter McCleary for his input. He said the city has 90 billboards, 45 that are the traditional size of 12 by 25 feet, and all have been in Revere between 53 and 88 years. All of them are grandfathered.

“With digital advertising there is a pattern of reduction in the number of (static) billboards,” McCleary said.

He suggested perhaps reducing static billboards with digital billboards. Digital billboards have the capacity to have several billboards that change ads every few minutes. Of course, the owner of the billboard gets payment for every sign shown.

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