Damien Jacob and his firm Sponsor Spot spent five years fighting City Hall to put up two 25-foot-by-40-foot billboards at 9 Bowdoin Street in Beacon Hill. In 2010, he won an appeal of a zoning board decision nixing the billboards, which face Cambridge Street and which currently advertise delicious, refreshing Bacardi rum (before that it was Blue Moon beer and, lest you think Jacob has a type, before that it was the Boston Public Health Commission). Now the city's Inspectional Services Department says Jacob doesn't have the proper permit for the billboards and could be fined a grand or imprisoned for a year if he fails to get it by the first week of August. (Seriously, this is happening.)
The IDS move echoes the original fight over the billboards, wherein the Menino administration not only argued that the billboards would violate zoning but sided, too, with the Beacon Hill Civic Association, which said the signs would further commercialize an achingly historic district. Jacob, for his part, has taken to the the media, telling The Herald's Ira Kantor he just wants off the city's "blacklist... Enough is enough. This is a bad economy. It’s not easy to sell the space and it’s just ridiculous. I’m just trying to make an honest living."
· Beacon Hill Billboard Battle [Herald]
[Dominic Reuter via The Herald]