Maitland residents will vote on billboard ban

Billboards could be banned forever if the Maitland City Council can take care of some loopholes.

Billboards could be banned forever if the Maitland City Council can take care of some loopholes.

Sarah Wilson

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A long-debated vote by the Maitland City Council on Monday gives city residents a chance to cast their own ballots on a hotly contested issue in March: should billboards be forever banned in Maitland?

The proposed charter amendment originally drafted by Councilman John Lowndes, if passed, would prohibit off-site signs greater than 32-square-feet in size erected for a period longer than 30 days.

The charter amendment grew from public outcry following the Council coming within one vote of approving a digital advertising sign earlier this year. The sign’s proposal was declined, but residents asked for assurance that the issue would never be brought up again.

With this amendment, Lowndes said, the people will get their wish.

“We’re not taking away anyone’s right to advertise on site, but if its offsite you’re out of luck,” he said. “It’s a very simple amendment … This is really just a billboard issue.”