Word on the Shore By Chris Sheldon March 29, 2017
EATONTOWN, NJ: The borough council is looking for more information before signing off on the installation of a new billboard along the Route 35 corridor.
David Klein Outdoor Advertising is looking to put a digital billboard 160 Route 35 on the site of a Rayco Total Auto Repair shop located just before the Route 35/36 intersection. The billboard would be the first of its kind in the borough and would be similar to several that can be seen along Route 35 in Ocean Township.
The face of the sign would be 11×36 feet according to the group’s attorney, Peter Falvo, with the base of the sign 20 feet above the ground. It would be visible from both sides of the highway and would change to display different advertisements. Falvo said it would be “internally illuminated” and that there would be no “light spillage” into nearby properties, which are commercial uses.
“Can you see it coming down the highway, there’s no question about it that you can,” Falvo said. “Can you read a newspaper underneath it, there’s no question that you can’t.”
Falvo said his client does not need to seek approval from the Eatontown Zoning Board of Adjustment and only need the approval of council to move forward with the installation of the sign. He said his client has already been given an outdoor advertising permit by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to build a sign as a large as 20-feet-by-50-feet.
“We’re not looking to do that, we’re looking to put up a smaller sign,” Falvo said.
Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly said he had no problem with the look of the sign.
“I have no issue myself, I like the view of these digital signs, so that part is no my concern,” Connelly said. “My concern is just adding signs to the borough, but if our ordinance says that it’s permissible, then it’s permissible.”
Council members questioned how long each advertisement would appear on the sign, and Falvo said it would be every few seconds. The council felt that it should only change once every minute for safety reasons.
Falvo said his client would agree to the 1-minute “dwell time” and that if his client wanted to change that, he would have to come back to council to request the change.
Borough Attorney Andrew Bayer suggested carrying the hearing to a future meeting so more information could be gathered and so the applicant could bring its own traffic expert to answer any questions the council may have. That hearing is currently scheduled for the April 26 Eatontown Council meeting.