Upper Saddle River Planning Board Denies Application for Digital Billboard, Citing Visual Clutter

In a decisive decision on Thursday, July 27, 2023, the Upper Saddle River Borough Planning Board rejected a proposal for a double-faced multi-message billboard sign and LED display at 306 Route 17 North. The decision came after extensive deliberation and testimony, reflecting concerns over visual clutter and adherence to zoning requirements. The application was brought by Kein Outdoor Advertising, Inc. and was denied with a 6-1 vote.

During the meeting, Gerald Salerno Esq., representing Kein Outdoor Advertising, advised that three witnesses would provide testimony to address concerns raised by the Board at a previous hearing. David Klein, the applicant, testified that the proposed billboard’s design was consistent with industry trends, presenting photographs to illustrate its impact from different angles. Mr. Klein also emphasized that the billboard would be smaller than most located on other major highways in New Jersey.

John Tobias, PH.D & PE, a professional engineer in electrical engineering, provided an analysis of the lighting from the proposed billboard, concluding that the contribution to area lighting would be minimal. Discussion ensued about the ambient lighting, adjustments of brightness at different times of day, and a comparison with other sources of light.

However, the Board’s concerns revolved around the visual clutter that the billboard might add to the site. Members questioned the billboard’s location, size, and impact on the surrounding properties. Borough Planner Joseph Burgis expressed that the billboard must be considered a principal use, rather than an accessory use, and cited the NJ Supreme Court Decision known as Coventry Square as a reference.

Board members expressed concerns regarding the billboard’s potential to add to visual clutter on the site. Joseph Donato, Richard Richardi, Robert Jacobs, Chris Wiederholz, and Todd Bakal all emphasized that the site was not suited for additional signage. James Virgona, presiding over the meeting, noted concern about the location and intensity of the property.

After deliberation, a motion to deny the application was made by Mr. Wiederholz and seconded by Mr. Richardi, passing with six affirmative votes and one abstention by Mr. Virgona.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

Planning Board Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes