Double Billboard Approved For Elizabeth Avenue Site

Brett Skapinetz, the project’s engineer, said he has no fear that the billboard will topple over.

A plan to erect a v-shaped, double billboard on Elizabeth Avenue, near Route 287, was approved February 2 by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

In granting the approval, the Board required the applicant, American Outdoor Advertising, to locate the billboard about 40 feet away from an existing office building. The developer had originally planned on placing the billboard about 13 feet away from the building.

Brett Skapinetz, the project’s engineer, said they initially placed the billboard so close to the building so they would not run afoul of the Township’s ordinance requiring billboards to be at least 1,000 feet away from each other.

“We thought of that as the most important, so we’d meet the 1,000 feet,” he said. “I’ve also worked on billboards that were on top of buildings, right next to buildings.”

“To us, it doesn’t matter where it goes,” he said. “If the Board comes to the conclusions and prefers to have that other location, we’re OK with that.”

Skapinetz said he has “zero concern” of the billboard falling over and damaging the building “because of design requirements” for billboards.

He said the billboard, which will be 14 feet x 48 feet, will be supported by a 3-foot diameter pole which will be buried at least six feet into the ground.

Board members were also concerned about drivers seeing the billboard from Elizabeth Avenue.

Board chairman Robert Thomas, who helped craft the Township’s billboard ordinance, said one intention of the law was to make sure billboards were only visible along Route 287.

The Board was told that drivers on Elizabeth Avenue would potentially only see the billboard for about two seconds.

In voting yes, Thomas said he believed the developer “did as much as possible” to limit the billboard’s view from Elizabeth Avenue.

“And for the 2-second view that someone driving by is going to see it, I don’t think that warrants a ‘no’ vote,” he said. “But I’m a little disappointed because having been involved in the original intent of this ordinance, it was to keep all billboards invisible from the general public on the streets, and keep them only visible to 287.”

In the end, the Board unanimously approved the application with variances from the Township’s requirement that billboards be placed at least 100 feet from buildings, and that they be placed at least 1,000 feet from other billboards.

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