The Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) on May 24 approved the installation of seven electronic signs on the new 5,000 seat MGM Music Hall adjacent to Fenway Park, which is set to open later this year.
The signage is required to come before the board because it requires a conditional use permit. Attorney Kathleen Brill explained that the signage “includes LED boards and static illuminated graphic designs.”
There is an “LED ribbon board” that “runs around the corners” of both Lansdowne and Ipswich Streets, she said, as well as a center marquis board with side panels. There are also lit signs above and below the marquis board that read “MGM” and “Music Hall.”
There are also “MGM Music Hall” blade signs, as well as six “animated panels” on the side of the building that’s along Lansdowne St., Brill said.
Brill also said that this signage is “not within 150 feet of residential units,” and there is an entire commercial district between this building and residential units. She said this signage proposal does “meet all the design requirements for distancing,” as well as “all special permit criteria,” including “siting, dimensional, and operational requirements.”
Brill said that a community meeting was held, which was confirmed by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services as being held on April 6. Mayor’s Liaison Molly Griffin said that at the meeting, the plans for the signage were presented to attendees, and their questions and concerns were addressed. Griffin added that the Mayor’s Office has not received any letters of support or opposition for this proposal.
Brill also said that while there will be animation on the signs, it will be “in relation to what’s going on in the theater at that time.” She also said that the signs will not be operational for 24 hours a day, but rather will abide by the rules of the zoning code which permit the operation of this signage between 7am and 2am.
Jeff Hampton, Deputy Director of Zoning for the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), said that “we’re been doing design review on this,” and that this proposal is the “final component” in the Article 80 process for the theater.
“We’d like to go on record in support of this,” he said.
The ZBA voted to approve the application as presented.