The Town of Homer met last night for a special meeting regarding billboard regulations within the town limits through the town zoning law.
A number of residents attended the meeting located in the Senior Center in the basement of the Town Hall. The billboard debate has stirred quite the controversy since a proposal to build 4 billboards along I81.
Currently, the zoning law prohibits such off-premises signs within the Town of Homer. Town Attorney Patrick Snyder recently provided information on another option the town could make in regards to zoning called a floating zone, something Dryden has recently passed. Town Board member Williams said though that the information regarding the floating zones still needs to be thoroughly reviewed by him and he couldn’t make an opinion on it during last night’s meeting.
Town Board Supervisor Fred Forbes spoke on his public opinion of the matter informing the board and those attending the meeting of the amount of billboards in surrounding towns and villages in the county. Forbes continued with his opinion that the standard size of a billboard, which is 14 feet by 48 feet should essentially not be allowed, but one slightly smaller.
Williams then spoke to the board of the information and opinions he has been collecting on the matter. Overall his views and information he has received from businesses and residents show that the billboards will attract those who use I81 to businesses/events in Homer. He continued on about I81 averaging a little over 11,000 vehicles per day and would help with the Town of Homer’s sales tax base, which is a major contributor to the overall budget.
Larry Jones, another board member for the Town of Homer raised his views against the need for billboards. His overall opinion showed that Homer is a special place and adding billboards could essentially damage that, citing his former residence in Malibu CA. having billboards everywhere. He continued on suggesting that the voters should make the final decision on the ballot, but was then informed by Town Attorney, Patrick Snyder, that zoning laws are not permitted to be placed on a ballot.
With further research to be done, the Town Board agreed to hold another Special Meeting next month on September 20th.