Sign of our times: What do you think of Peabody’s first giant billboard?

31 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

This space wrote about this back in November, and now here’s a real example of  what this might actually look like. For now,  I thought I’d throw a photo out there and let you weigh in on what you think about the first of our  gigantic billboards.

The first one, for which the city of Peabody collects a 5-figure permitting fee, is up on Lowell Street near Route 1, and it’s been causing quite a stir so far with a debate on Facebook. There are dozens of comments,  all of them negative.

City Councior Anne Manning-Martin even posted the following photo. No, that’s not a giant ape at the top swatting at airplanes. Let me know what you think in the comments section as to whether you think this in an infringement on quality of life:

sign

The new billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1

27 Responses to “Sign of our times: What do you think of Peabody’s first giant billboard?”

  1. Anony January 31, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    This is disgraceful, no one wants this leviathan on Lowell St. Take it down! Thank you Councillor Manning-Martin for bringing this to our attention!

  2. Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    This thing is ugly but once again Annie Manning trying to grandstand and make it seem like she is a man of the people. What a phony. Are you running for mayor Annie poo? Good luck.

  3. Anon January 31, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Does it block the GIANT Bonkers sign across the street from being seen off Rte.1?
    They were there first!

  4. Daniel B.Kulak January 31, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    As I said to Anne Manning-Martin, the bill board, if you want to call it that, makes Bonkers sign look like a postage stamp!
    In reply to “Anonymous”, I tip my hat to any individual who participates in the political process, whether I agree with them or not…If you are going to crticize them, have the courage to place your name with your comment!

  5. the Outfront Guy* January 31, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    OG says….it’s all about the money isn’t it? you reference a ‘5 figure permitting fee’ obtained by the city. Often times we must choose between financial opportunity and community common sense….so it seems clear which path we have chosen on this specific issue….

  6. lori January 31, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    I suppose if it will keep our taxes lower, the sign can stay, but it is a horrible eye sore and I hate it!!!!

  7. Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Where is the outrage from Ms. Manning on the ugly, distracting sign that blinks like a Las Vegas billboard in front of a foot doctor’s office on Rte 114? It is very distracting to motorists and I have called SEVERAL councilors about it and got nowhere! This all stems from giving them an inch and now they are taking a foot….the Peabody City Council opened up this can of worms!

    • Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      Mzzzzz Manning voted for the special permit for he foot sign I do believe. Right? Hypocrite!!!!!!!!

      • Anony January 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

        Actually, you’re wrong. She didn’t.

  8. Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Bob, how would have you handled this if you were on the council? Maybe this would be a great opportunity to hear from you and your competition as to what you would have done. I do not like Anne Manning but I do have to say she is dead on with this and all the councilors that voted for it should be ashamed. Granted we had not ground to not approve it, they should have allowed it to go to the courts…

    • Bob Croce January 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      The answer is simple for me. Although I feel we always should look at ways to expand our commercial tax base in an effort to stabilize property taxes on residents, we should NEVER allow the lure of some extra tax revenue to negatively affect the quality of life of any residents.

      Let’s be business friendly. It’s good for Peabody. But resident quality of life comes first before everything else.

      In the case of this specific billboard, I agree that it’s an eye sore that’s out of scale with the neighborhood.

      If I were currently on the City Council, I’d be requesting that we immediately review the terms of that permit to see if they’re in violation of anything. But if I were on the council at that time it was voted on, and knew that it would be of this scale, I would have voted against it. The vote was 6-5 in favor of allowing it, but since it was a special permit, you needed at least 8 votes for approval. The billboard advertising company then got a court order to overturn the council and get the permit approved.

      • Peabody politics January 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

        Good answer councillor!

  9. the Outfrong Guy* January 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    OG says..I wonder who the 6 councilors were who voted in favor of it ? did Gamache vote in favor of it?

    • Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Gravel, Mello, Garabedian, Sinewitz, Osborne, and Gamahce voted yes.

      Manning, Gould, Athas, Liacos and Driscoll voted no.

  10. anonymous January 31, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Your right on Bob. The city council denied it and the court overturned it and gave us this mess. I’d like to know where the judge lives and put it in his town.

  11. the Outfront Guy* January 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    OG says…but why did the court overturn it ? and did some Councilors vote YES because they knew it would end up being overturned anyway? Garabedian, Sinewitz and Gamache all live up towards that end of town so they should have a good feel for what this Eiffel Tower might look like in its present location

  12. ralph smith January 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    I read this news article in the salem… check out the last line… sounds like shes against to me!
    http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1690075094/Peabody-No-new-b-lights-on-114/print?mobRedir=false

  13. the Outfront Guy* January 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    OG says…thanks Ralph…but how does a sign discussion from 2009 tie into this approved sign tower next to Subway? frankly, I don’t see Ms Manning as an advocate for a sign of this magnitude.

    • Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      I can’t believe how bad this looks. This does not belong on Lowell st. How could any person in their right mind approve this monstrosity? It’s not a digital board that lights up at night is it?

    • ralph smith February 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      The point is Anne is getting blamed for this bunion sign when in real life she was against this before she was on The council…

  14. anonymous February 1, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Just read the Salem News article. The mayor issued a cease and desist claiming the pole was put in the wrong place.

  15. anonymous February 1, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    If the company put the billboard way behind the building like it was supposed to there wouldn’t be a problem. Stop blaming Anne and the rest of the city council. It’s just another business in this city running amok and doing whatever it pleases. Just like the developer on Winona street.

  16. the Outfront Guy* February 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    OG says…hold on…OG was defending Ms Manning on this issue….but I am hard pressed to see how the business owner here can just stick the pole whereever they felt like putting it….just don’s see how that can happen….any one help me out with this?

    • Michael Scott February 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      “Hard pressed to see how a business owner here can just stick the pole where ever they felt like putting it?”
      That’s what she said!!!!

    • Anon February 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      OG,
      You surprise me. Are you testing us? It,as I am sure you know, is all in the zoning (or re-zoning)!
      All the city councillors except for Gould are experts in zoning. They just re-wrote the zoning book! With the expert council of Community Development Department how could they miss that one?
      Maybe they just didn’t think about it. With that GIANT Bonkers sign right across the street I fail to see the problem.

  17. the Outfront Guy* February 2, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    OG says…no, I am not testing you and I am simply confused with how a giant pole ends up in a spot where we don’t expect it to be….when the permit is issued doesn’t it specifically state WHERE the pole is going to be on the property? yes or no?…

    • ANGELO NARGI,2 LEDGEWOOD WAY APT 25 PEABODY,MA February 3, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      SEE MY LETTER TO THE CITY COUNCIL ET AL OF PEABODY RE THIS TRAVESTY PERPERTRATED BY BONKERS.
      AT THE MEETING THE AD AGENCY “WITHDREW THEIR APPLICATION”….LEDGEWOOD AND PEABODY “WON THE BATTLE”,
      BUT SOME CORRUPT JUDGE FOR FREE SUBS FOR LIFE OPENED WARFARE ON THE CITIZENS OF PEABODY.LETTER ATTACHED.
      angelo a. nargi
      2 ledgewood way, apt 25 peabody, ma 01960 tel:/fax: (978) 535-2450
      cell phone; 1-(978) 853- 6835
      e-mail: chezangelo@aol.com

      DRAFT- SPEAKING NOTES TO ZBA (ZoningBoardofAppeals,Peabody,MA),
      meeting December 19, 2011.

      I thank the Board for hearing my comments to the Proposal of Bonkers to SELL THEIR
      PROPERTY RIGHTS TO A BILLBOARD ADVERTISING COMPANY, ERGO, Dictating
      to the City of Peabody, their RIGHT to do so, and thumbing their nose to the citizenry of
      Peabody, AGAIN….How dare them.

      A question to the board!
      Is there a Federal highway “Right of Way“ and what are the parameters?
      How can Bonkers “INFRINGE“ on that and Claim said property as their own?
      They already barricaded their “FIFEDOM“ with a several hundred foot long chain link
      “Great Wall Of China“ which ENCOMPASSES the length of the Retaining Wall Property.

      ROUTE 95 IS A FEDERAL HIGHWAY.
      That Includes:
      MA128 Which Was Committed To Be An EXTENTION, At The Dedham Line,
      And Become Route 93 Towards Braintree And Boston.
      And Become ROUTE 95 TO GLOUCESTER.
      “NO THANKS TO THE POLITICIANS SQUEEZING THE FEDS TO ALLOW THIS DEBACLE“
      Ergo………..FEDERAL RULES APPLY.

      Even so, 95 from Rhode Island up to 128 is PRISTINE, NO VISUAL POLLUTION,
      93 from Dedham to Peabody is PRISTINE, NO VISUAL POLLUTION,
      95 from Dedham to Peabody is PRISTINE, NO VISUAL POLLUTION,
      95 from Peabody to the CANADIAN BORDER is PRISTINE, NO VISUAL POLLUTION

      BONKERS wants to put a 78 FOOT HIGH ( 7 STORIES HIGH ) MONSTROSITY
      Adjacent To The Retaining Wall of Route 95 North at Lowell Street..
      Who Dictates Right Of Way“?
      If This Is Not VISUAL POLLUTION“ Then What Is?
      From Day One BONKERS Has Proven To Be ’’NOT A GOOD NEIGHBOR“

      I refer to The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Peabody, Mass. SPECIFICALLY—

      Para: 1.2 PURPOSE:
      —-to protect the integrity of neighborhoods……—
      —-the prevention of blight and pollution of the environment—
      —-and to preserve and increase amenities in the City of Peabody.

      Para: 1.4 APPLICABILITY
      All buildings and structures herinafter erected, ———-in the City of Peabody
      Shall be in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance.———–

      Para: 1.5 NONCONFORMANCE
      (1.5.1) in toto:

      Para: 1.7 PROHIBITED USES
      In toto:
      Para: 11.6 BILLBOARDS
      11.6.4 Criteria
      11.6.4. (5.) demonstrate that the Billboard is in harmony with or suitable for the surrounding area and would NOT do significant damage to the visual environment.—-
      —–the scenic beauty of the area, the phy-sical,environmental,cultural,historical or
      architectural characteristics of the location and area, the structures, height, size of the sign, the number of signs on the premise and in the area where the Billboard is to be
      located.

      Board Members, City Council, DO YOUR DUTY.
      SERVE HONORABLY YOUR CONSTITUENTS.

      Respectfully, ANGELO NARGI………………..

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