HAZLET – Two separate billboard companies are seeking permission to erect electronic billboards in Hazlet: a brand new one on Route 36 at Middle Road, and a replacement sign for static billboards on Route 35 that is proposed to stand taller and be 50 percent larger than what currently exists.
If the Route 35 sign is approved, motorists approaching Hazlet Avenue will see two streaming advertisements on digital billboards on both sides of the highway.
- Outfront Media, formerly CBS Outdoor, is seeking to install a sign on its property located at the Hazlet Avenue jughandle on Route 35. Currently, there are two existing double-sided static billboards there, each sign with an area of 239 square feet per face. The applicant is requesting approval to replace the existing billboards with a new double-sided digital billboard that is 50 feet in height and located closer to the highway – 20 feet from the Route 35 property line and 11.9 feet from the common property line with the jughandle. The new proposed digital billboard has a sign area of 739.3 square feet per sign face.
- Atlantic Outdoor Advertising wants to erect a 378 square foot two-sided “v” shaped (two-sided) digital billboard on property near Route 36 and 155 Middle Road, adjacent to the vacant Bank of America building. It would stand 40 feet high. The lot’s owner is 155 Middle Road, LLC of Staten Island.
Both sites are in Hazlet’s Business Highway zone district, which does not specifically permit billboards. The applicants are seeking use variances and bulk variances for setbacks, sign area, location, height and type, among other things.
Hazlet Township’s Engineer Bonnie Heard of T&M Associates of Middletown recently reviewed the site plans and related use variance applications. In her Dec. 6 report, she advised the Land Use Board Board that the sign companies should demonstrate these spots are appropriate for digital billboards and there are good reasons to allow a departure from standing zoning regulations. The companies must also show that the variance can be granted without taking away from the surroundings, and that the digital billboards are not inconsistent with the township’s Land Use laws or Master Plan.
In 2016, Holmdel Township denied a zoning variance to Outdoor Media for a digital billboard proposed for the southbound side of 2150 Route 35, approaching the Holmdel Commons shopping center.
Both applications are scheduled to come before the Hazlet Land Use Board, and the public will have a chance to offer comments. As of Jan. 31, 2019, Outfront Media is scheduled to appear on Feb. 21, and Atlantic Outdoor is scheduled to be heard on March 7.
If approved these would be Hazlet’s second and third illuminated billboards. In October, 2016, Interstate Outdoor Advertising received a use variance, height variance, site plan approval, and the additional bulk variances and waivers to erect a two-sided freestanding 11-foot by 36-foot electronic digital billboard standing 44 feet above 3206 Route 35 South, above Cerlione’s, near Hazlet Avenue. The sign dimensions of 396 square feet on each face.