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Haverford Township billboard controversy to continue after New Year

The Haverford Township Zoning Hearing Board will revisit Bartkowski Investment Group's attempt to install five billboards in the area.

It's been awhile, but the billboard saga of Haverford Township is gearing up again.

The township announced yesterday its Zoning Hearing Board will meet Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. to continue discussion the matter, which has been on the table since 2009.

The current Haverford Township zoning code prohibits outdoor advertising signs, and as Patch reported, visual expert Dr. Ronald Gibbons for the company arguing for the billboards, Bartkowski Investment Group, admitted some flaws in its report meant to demonstrate minimal harm to erecting five billboards in the area.

The billboards would most affect the Second and Fifth Wards along Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr and West Chester Pike in Havertown, but residents in the neighboring Lower Merion Township have voiced opposition to the age-old advertisement signs as well saying the billboards will ruin neighborhood character.

But in today's advertising world of social media, the question of how effective billboards are as marketing tools remains topical.

St. Joseph's University marketing professor Dr. Michael Solomon, Ph.D., said billboards can be effective – sometimes.

"The irony is, the fewer of them there are, the more effective they are," Solomon said, "but they're not going to persuade people to do something."

Though Solomon isn't directly familiar with the push by BIG to install billboards in Haverford Township, he said if the advertising method doesn't speak to community standards, the company may be "making more enemies than it's worth."

If you live near an area affected by the possible billboards, email Neighbors will be at the meeting Jan. 5, too, so if you have any questions, let us know in the comments section below.