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Hobart OKs new billboard on U.S. 30

Updated: January 2, 2013 11:16PM



HOBART — The City Council on Wednesday gave Merrillville-based View Outdoor Advertising final approval to install a billboard sign on the Centier Bank property at U.S. 30 and Colorado Avenue, with the knowledge that this will most likely be one of the last billboards allowed in the city.

Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, cast the lone vote against the sign, saying he believes the main artery through the city is getting too “visually noisy” and he wants to protect the existing businesses along the major highway.

“Many of the billboards farther east on U.S. 30 are for competing businesses in other towns. We want to make sure we keep our own businesses viable,” Vinzant said.

He also said the council needs to send a message to the plan commission that it believes there are enough billboards in the city, even if that message comes after this proposed sign.

City planner A.J. Bytnar said this is probably one of the last billboards that can be placed along U.S. 30, as a result of the city’s planning process. He said the only two places where billboards can be installed are on U.S. 30, from Colorado to Mississippi Street, and on 37th Avenue, from Liverpool Road to Interstate 65.

“I don’t know if there are any spots on 37th Avenue that people might be interested in, but anything east of Colorado (on U.S. 30) won’t have a favorable recommendation,” Bytnar said.

Councilman John Brezik, D-5th, who also chairs the plan commission, said he believes the plan commission made a statement at its last meeting by not making any recommendation to the council regarding the billboard — either for or against it.

He said the plan commission probably won’t be giving any favorable recommendations for billboard signs, other than to refurbish existing ones.

“We don’t want to become a billboard city,” Brezik said.



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