New England

Can anyone give me any insight into the New England billboard market? I know that Vermont and Maine have state bans but, for example, in NH, 19 out of 20 towns that I have checked so far don’t allow billboards per their ordinances. The one town that does allow them doesn’t allow anything bigger than 100 square feet. Is this sort of thing common in some areas where even though the state allows them most of the towns don’t? Also, if the town ordinances found on the websites say they are not allowed…is that set in stone or should I inquire further about it? The reason being is that all of these towns currently have billboards some of which look new or newer than others.

Thanks for any help.

Any state that does not have an outright ban on billboards is fertile territory for new signs. If you lay out all the cities and towns that front highways or major secondaries, you will probably have a list of 100 or more. Work that list, like you’ve already done, and get copies of their ordinances. Do not ask them by phone, as they will normally say “no” even if the true answer is “yes” – most cities and towns don’t want more billboards will do everything they can to discourage them. Even if they do not allow signs, you can still request a variance to their ordinance. 100 square feet is not doomsday for billboards – that still allows for construction of 8-sheets [about 5’ x 12’] which is a standardized size. You can also build a 100 sq. ft. wooden unit [normally 8’ x 12’] that fits the bill. Remember that areas with extreme supply limitations of signs only make new ones more valuable.