Alderman Objects to Construction of Giant Billboards

By Heather Cherone on December 17, 2012 6:46pm 

 Four 90-foot tall electronic billboards will be built in Portage Park and Gladstone Park, including at Wilson and Lamon avenue.
Four 90-foot tall electronic billboards will be built in Portage Park and Gladstone Park, including at Wilson and Lamon avenue.
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DNAInfo/Heather Cherone

JEFFERSON PARK — Four electronic billboards will be built in the 45th ward, despite Ald. John Arena's objections about the massive signs being visible from homes, parks and schools.

"I'll continue to petition to administration to move these billboards to other locations where they will have less of an impact on our community," Arena wrote in an email to residents Friday.

He was one of six aldermen to vote against the 20-year digital-billboard deal that could bring in $270 million, including $15 million in the first year. Sixty-two billboards will be built on 34 posts along city expressways under the plan.

"I raised these concerns repeatedly with the administration and was told that my opposition would be taken in to account," Arena wrote. "However, these locations remained in the final ordinance, and I had no other choice than to vote no."

Those 90-foot tall billboards are on either side of Jefferson Park Senior Suites, a senior living facility on Northwest Highway. They will also be visible from nearby homes in Jefferson Park and to students walking to Hitch Elementary School, Arena said. 

The other two billboards are set to be built at the south side of the Mayfair Pumping Station at Wilson and Lamon avenues and on the northeast corner of the Department of Water Management Yard at Sunnyside and Lamon avenues.

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