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Council backs state bill to pay billboard companies to remove signs near parks

The City Council says state Rep. Dan Hunt (D-Dorchester) and state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) are on the right track with a bill that would try to remove billboards from open-space areas through a tax credit to billboard companies that remove them.

“This bill incentivizes businesses to be better neighbors,” said Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain).

Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) proposed the council back the bill, saying billboards and other signage unfairly and unequally impact low-income neighborhoods by further decreasing real estate value.

Some councilors said that beyond location, they are also concerned about what the billboards say. Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) brought up the recent case of a Grove Hall skin-lightening billboard that city officials persuaded owner Clear Channel to remove as offensive.

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Good use of funds.

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we're going to give billboard companies a tax break to remove their bill boards?

Something doesn't sound right here. How about the state just pass a law that says "hey no billboards within X number of feet near an open space" instead?

Then no cost to the tax payers and the billboards get removed!

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Though the billboard business as peaked as a way to get eyeballs on ads, these billboards are grandfathered and cannot be removed legally for the most part.

This bill is the carrot for the horse.

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I'm sure what you are saying is true.. but ya know, if the state can force people to do things, why can't they just do this for billboards too? Grandfathered in is relative and can always be reverse.

sometimes I swear idiots run this state and like giving away taxpayer money.

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There are some regulations as to where billboards can be put up. One of the problems is the MBTA; they do not have to follow the regulations and can put up billboards wherever they'd like, as long as it is on their property. I would like to see that change.
A lot of billboard owners are trying to upgrade to digital boards, which is what the residents of Dorchester want to stop.
Most of the Dorchester neighborhood associations have worked together to prevent any new billboards from being constructed.
I don't like the billboards, Dorchester has too many. I also don't think the companies who own the billboards need a tax break for removal.

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the practical limit on digital billboards is a sequence of up to six messages. Therefore, I would like to see the state promolgate regulations that require that, when companies like Clear Channel install a new digital display, they agree to remove five of their static billboards. Additionally, there needs to be regulations restricting the number of digital billboards in a given area - ideally nomore than one per mile of highway.

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Agreed. I hate to see those Clear Channels people lining up their pocket, just for removing the blight that they are causing in my neighborhood. These ugly things serve absolutely no public purpose, and more often than not they advertise junk food and scams in communities that are already awash in them. But if paying them out is the only way to achieve results, I'd still go for it.

I have a better solution: Clear Channel executives, please dig up these monstrosities at the intersection of Bowdoin St. and Geneva Ave., and plant them in your five acre backyard where they belong! That will make everybody happy.

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Campaign signs?

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have more important things to waste their time with?

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which is why you no longer see them cluttering up Union Square, Davis Square, and other parts of our city.

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