Plan withdrawn for electronic billboard on Route 23 in Wayne

Watchfire Signs

The world’s largest high-def screen lit up in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square Tuesday night. It’s eight stories tall and runs the length of a football field.

A proposal to erect a digital billboard on a busy stretch of Route 23 has been withdrawn.

But, the owner of the advertising firm who brought the plan to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for review said he has not ruled out the possibility that his application for the electronic sign will come back.

“It was clear to me that, in order to really move forward, some changes needed to be made,” said Joseph Jacobs, who owns Linwood-based Pacific Outdoor Advertising.

Pacific Outdoor Advertising, of Linwood, planned to erect a billboard at this commercial property on Route 23 south in Wayne. (Photo: Philip DeVencentis/NorthJersey.com)

“It’s not that I walked away from the project,” he said. “There needed to be changes, and I needed time to think about what changes should be made — if I decide to move forward, at all.”

The company’s plan was withdrawn, “without prejudice,” meaning that it can be refiled in the future.

The proposal was not greeted warmly when it was presented to the zoning board in February.

Neighbors and zoning board members voiced concerns that the billboard would have been too distracting for drivers — a matter disputed by a civil engineer who represented the company.

The plan called for a 45-foot billboard to be constructed at the southeast corner of a half-acre tract, at 1275 Route 23 south. A commercial building at that address is occupied by a pawn shop and tattoo parlor.

The sign would have alternated between ads every eight seconds. Each of its panels would have had a surface area of 672 square feet.

The company needed a use variance from the zoning board because the property is in an industrial zone, and billboards are permitted only as conditional uses in that district.


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