Some New Haven alders say a new double-sided electronic billboard should never have been built in the first place at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Emerson Street.
The billboards’ owner, Alex Churilov, said he worked with the City of New Haven zoning department in order to get the proper approval for the 10 by 23-foot signs. The city allows signage up to 12.5 by 25 feet.
"I can’t see it doing harm to anyone," Richard Brown, who grew up in the Westville neighborhood near the billboards, said.
But this new digital signage on the BD Food Market and Deli property is being met with mixed reaction.
"It probably would have been a better idea to at least talk to community residents, community organizations to see what their feelings are about it just like you would do for any other development," Leroy Jenkins from New Haven said.
Since going up last Friday, Churilov, of Southington, said a pharmacy, liquor store and seafood restaurant are some of the businesses interested in buying ad time on the billboards located on a busy New Haven street.
"It’s a little large," Jenkins said. "But I think it’s a clever idea for any business person to do advertisement there."
Some people told NBC Connecticut they worry the signs could contribute to distracted driving.
"We already have an issue with speeding on Whalley Avenue," Alder Richard Furlow said.
New Haven Alders Richard Furlow and Darryl Brackeen are against the installation of the digital billboards. Both told NBC Connecticut the signs don’t belong in that section of the city.
"My main concern is that this is part of the city a part of Westville that is really underserviced," Furlow said. "You tend to see these kinds of advertising and signs in neighborhoods that are more depressed."
Furlow said the alders are weighing out some options to see what can be done.
Churilov said "he is holding his breath" that the utility company will show up in the next ten days to turn on the power.