Brookhaven locked in legal battle over roadside billboards

Posted: Updated:
EASTPORT -

The town of Brookhaven court battle to get rid of billboards on the side of the road seems to be never-ending.

The town of Brookhaven passed a law banning billboards, but that was more than 10 years ago. The town has been locked in a legal battle with a billboard company. A court ruled that the town’s law was unconstitutional.

Pete Kassebaum, of the Eastport Green Project, says the billboards don’t fit the character of the area. He feels the large ads don't belong in small communities like Eastport -- saying they're something you usually see only on major highways.

“When I was traveling as a boy in the car with my mom and dad, we would see those billboards and talk about them. But those days are gone,” says Kassebaum.

Critics say the billboards are a distraction — especially one on Eastport-Manor Road in Eastport. It's set back off the road and requires drivers to turn their heads to read it.

“Their position is that they're entitled under some type of pre-existing use,” says Dave Moran, the deputy Brookhaven town attorney. “As always, our concern is health and safety. With people traversing our streets, we want to make sure it's safe. We don't want distracted drivers.”

Some billboards will be coming down – including one on Montauk Highway in Moriches where the town has acquired the land.

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