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A judge has ordered the owners of a controversial LED billboard on the Margate Causeway to halt operation by June 1 while a lawsuit makes its way through the courts.

Staff photo by Anthony Smedile, March 22, 2012

The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued a Notice of Violation to Jersey Outdoor Media over the controversial LED billboard on the Margate Causeway in a section of Egg Harbor Township.

The notice, issued on Thursday, cites “unauthorized development activities within the coastal zone” as well as “within a coastal wetland.”

The notice states that Jersey Outdoor Media must file within 30 days for a 1970 Coastal Wetlands permit or else submit “a restoration proposal to restore the site to its pre-disturbance condition.” The company had already filed for a separate Coastal Area Facility Review Act, or CAPRA, permit on April 13.

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If the billboard continues to operate without those two permits, the notice states, the Moorestown-based company may be fined.

Richard Levitt, the chairman of the Northfield Planning Board, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that the developers of the billboard — erected last month on property Hackney’s Boat Yard Inc. had leased to Jersey Outdoor Media — had illegally filled in wetlands prior to receiving a minor site plan approval from Egg Harbor Township planners.

In addition to the owner and lessee, the Egg Harbor Township Planning Board and the state Department of Environmental Protection were also listed as defendants.

“We are delighted the DEP — quite unlike the Township of Egg Harbor — has bellied up to the bar and done its job,” said Levitt’s attorney, Stephen Hankin.

Hankin also contended that the billboard was not 50 but 60 feet high, which would exceed the limit for signs allowed by township code in the marine zoning district.

An employee of Jersey Outdoor Media said the company had no comment Friday.

Contact Steven Lemongello:


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