City reaches deal to remove billboards many saw as eyesores
Bishop William Barr said that he was grateful for the commercial billboard that stood high above his church's property in Northeast Washington.
"That sign has been there even before the church was here," Barr said. "We got about $2,000 a year for it to be there because they use our electricity."
The money helped helped finance the church's work with the homeless.
But what was a blessing to the members of the Holiness Community Church at 3rd and K streets N.E. has long been considered an eyesore by other residents, and earlier this week the neighborhood won out. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that the District reached a settlement agreement with Clear Channel regarding the removal of five billboards -- four located at the intersection of New Jersey, 4th and P streets N.W., and one at 3rd Street and K streets N.E.
"These billboards have been a source of frustration for the residents of the Mount Vernon neighborhood for years," Fenty said in a statement. "We are excited to see them come down today and that an agreement could be reached so quickly without unnecessary time, expense or further litigation."
For decades, residents in Wards 2 and 5 have fought to get the billboards removed. Ward 2 community leader Cary Silverman said he wrote to city officials to complain about ten billboards in his community.
"These billboards for years have given the impression to motorist that they were on a highway," said Silverman, who singled out one sign at New Jersey and P streets N.W.
Clear Channel began removing the billboards on Tuesday and will complete the removal by Monday. In addition, Clear Channel will take down all supporting posts for the billboards by the end of the month.
-- Hamil R. Harris
Christopher Dean Hopkins
December 18, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: Hamil R. Harris
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