Bressi Urges Action On Billboards

Councilman Rob Nixon expresses his support for billboards in the township at the January 24 council meeting. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

JACKSON – One of the things you can’t build in Jackson is an advertising billboard. But the township attorney is researching how or why to change that, after one councilman’s request.

Council president Kenneth Bressi’s asked municipal attorney Jean Cipriani to the legal aspects of allowing billboards on township property, specifically along Route 195 and possibly other major roadways in town.

The topic will be on the February 14 discussion agenda.

Municipal attorney Jean Cipriani advises council on the next steps to determine if billboards are a good fit for Jackson Township. She’ll present her findings at the February 14 meeting. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

Cipriani told The Jackson Times she will look into statutes, regulations and case law, and she will present her findings at the next council meeting. Her advice, she said, will stick with the legal, not policy, issues.

She will also research leasing fees from surrounding townships that allow billboards on township property, as well as where those municipalities allow billboards in town.

One of the main questions is where would billboards be allowed.

“Where do you want them permitted? Do you want them only on public land? Are there certain roads, sections of roads,” Cipriani told council. “Absolutely we can do it, both in terms of the size, you’re familiar with traditional billboard size, keeping that in mind if you want to keep that size. You’re going to need to think about where it makes sense to have them and the proximity that you would allow them to be in.”

Bressi said the council is looking to place billboards on township property only right now. They want to ensure that spot zoning won’t be an issue, that should the township own property that surrounds a privately-owned piece of land, that landowner would not have the ability to install billboards.

Bressi and other council members also want to see what kind of revenue billboards could bring the township before moving forward.

One of the few billboards around Jackson Township. The law prohibits billboards on township property, something some residents and council members want to see changed to bring in revenue. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

“I have my own thoughts about this issue, it’s certainly a positive for the township, both from a revenue perspective potentially and as an economic development driver,” councilman Rob Nixon said.

He said one example could be billboards from Six Flags Great Adventure.

“Certainly as we look to the expansion off the 195 corridor, what could ultimately occur in the Six Flags area, as they continue their success hopefully in the future,” Nixon said. “I think there is some value in us proceeding.”

Back in December, resident Richard Egan approached council about allowing billboards along Route 195 on township property. It’s unclear how many lots and where those lots are located along that corridor.

Billboards are prohibited in the municipality, although one appears to be grandfathered in one county road 526. There are no billboards on Route 195 between Jackson and Wall townships.

Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on February 14 at the municipal building, 95 W. Veterans Highway. Agendas can be found at jacksontwpnj.net/documents/agendas/council/