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REAL , ESTATE
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14, 1914
I BILLBOARD ORDINANCE NOT RETROACTIVE
Backyard Fences Hereafter Erected to Be Limited to Seven Feet in Height,
Billboards to Ten Feet—No Signs Will Be Allowed Opposite Public Buildings.
THE income sometimes derived from
vacant lots through renting the
fences for billboards will be lessened
should Alderman Curran's ordinance pro¬
hibiting billboards more than ten feet
high pass the board and obtain the May¬
or's signature. By the terms of the meas¬
ure all ten-foot billboards must have
openings at intervals and must be built of
fireproof materials. This latter provision
will cause much reconstruction, which of
course the billboard firms will have to
pay for, if they decide to continue the
use of the medium. Ordinary fences less
than seven feet high are left unregulated,
but all ten-foot fences, whether used as
billboards or not, must be built fireproof.
Any skysign or billboard that injures the
value of adjacent real estate, as many
unquestionably do, or presents an ob¬
stacle to the use of fire apparatus, is pro¬
hibited under the ordinance.
The ordinance, which is not retroac¬
tive, will prohibit billboards from being
is not an unheard of annual rental for an
owner to exact for the privilege of put¬
ting a double-deck billboard around his
lot or a huge electric skysign on top of
Billboard Rental Rates.
Bill-posting and advertising companies
guard with great secrecy from the public
the sums they pay in any particular case,
in order that the owners of other choice
locations may not know too much, but it
is a fact that at least one enterprising
concern pays as high as twenty thousand
dollars' rental in more than one case. Ten
thousand dollars is the annual rental paid
in a number of instances. There is no
average price for billboard space, but in
a general way it is known that the best
locations are considered to be those
where the most people pass.
Thus, Riverside Drive is rated higher
than upper Fifth avenue, and Broadway
in the neighborhood of 42d street highest
of all. If you see a vacant lot in a high
class neighborhood with double-decker
billboards on two sides, the owner is get-
but no open-work section (which every
fence over seven feet high must have)
shall be covered.
Limit for Roof Signs.
A structure having a tight or closed
surface erected upon or above a roof
shall not exceed ten feet in height or
forty feet in length. Structures not
having a tight or closed surface -may be
erected to the height of twenty feet
above the roof. A further allowance is
made if a space of six feet, is left be¬
tween the sign and the roof for the fire¬
men. The spaces in the structure must
not be less than three feet wide or more
than three feet apart.
No "structure" of the sort referred to
may be erected on the roof of any tene¬
ment house, hotel or other dwelling,
except upon a '\yholly detached piivate
dwelling, or except that a hotel shall be
permitted to have such a structure upon
its roof when the same is used to ident¬
ify or advertise the hotel itself only.
No sign, billboard, biilletin or ad¬
vertisement of any description may be
BIILBOARUS ON UPPER FIFTH AVENUE. OPPOSITE CENTRAL PARK.
hereafter erected within 350 feet of
any land within the jurisdiction of the
Park^ Department, and by the same law
no billboard will be permitted on or near
any parkway or drive within the juris¬
diction of the department, or on any
street where the board will be opposite
any schoolhouse, church or public build¬
ing. And nowhere without the consent
of all property owners within two hun¬
dred feet and a permit from the Building
Income from Billboards.
Large sums are in some cases derived
from the sale of billboard privileges by
real estate owners. High competition
among the bill-posting and advertising
companies for prominent locations at
which to erect billboards or skysigns has
served to raise the toll. Not so many
years ago tickets to the "show" was all
the owner asked, if the bill-poster would
keep his walk clear of snow and ice in
winter, but no'wadays the billboard ad¬
vertising business has become so con¬
siderable that ten thousand dollars a year
ting about one thousand dollars a year
from the advertising company, which
helps considerably to pay his taxes. But
for that he would give some architect a
commission to build him a private resi¬
dence on the site, or else an apartment
house as an income prodijcer.
The billboard companies intend to op¬
pose to the utmost the enactment of the
ordinance, and have already consulted
ex-Chief Croker in respect to the alleged
fire-danger from billboards,. At the pres¬
ent time they have a case in court against
the Superintendent of Buildings to see_ if
they must compl>; with his order to build
fireproof boards in certain cases.
Citations from the Ordinance.
The ordinance specifies that no fence
exceeding seven feet in height shall be
built without open sections in its surface
sufficient to give a view of the premises.
If within the fire-limits, it must be con¬
structed of slats or other open-work, or
else constructed entirely of incombus¬
tible material, except that paper posters
may be pasted over the "solid surface",
maintaihed across any doorway, window
or opening in the wall of any building.
No structure subject to regulation may
be maintained upon the roof of any
building bthei" than a fireproof building.
No structure Subject to regulation
shall at any point exceed seven feet in
height above the ground, if erected upon
the ground, and no "such structure" shall
be erected upon a roof unless capable of
sustaining a wind . pressure of forty
pounds a square foot.
The restrictions .in the ordinance do
not apply to walls of masonry, as stone,
brick, marble, terra cotta and concrete.
Must Keep Inside of Building Lines.
No structure for advertising purposes
shall be erected outside of the building
lines of any street or public-place, except
signs required by law or lawfullv erected
for public purposes. Exceptions are also
made for shop signs, and for signs re¬
lating-directly £ind solely to the premises,
for contractors' signs in building opera;^
tions, and for the signs of transit lines.
Within sixty days after the adoption of
the ordinance every ownet bf a ^tructtire