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LUV Boutique Billboards Causings a Row in Connecticut

Connecticut- Transportation officials are renting out space on four of the state’s “Adopt A Highway” signs to a small chain of adult-entertainment stores.

The decision comes about a year after Gov. M. Jodi Rell denounced billboards — especially adult-themed ones — as “clutter” ruining the state’s landscape and historic charm.

The signs have raised eyebrows at the General Assembly, which tried unsuccessfully to broker a compromise between Rell and the billboard industry — outraged by Rell’s executive order last year that halted any new contracts for billboards on state property.

“I found it kind of amazing after having come off this discussion about billboards and their appropriateness,” said Sen. Joan Hartley, D- Waterbury, [pictured] who recently spotted a highway sign for LUV Boutique while driving to Hartford.

“I was completely stunned. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what I was reading,” Hartley said. “We’ve got a lot of good and viable businesses in the state of Connecticut that we’d really love to be featuring before the LUV Boutique.”

Hartley said that she conveyed her concerns about the LUV Boutique signs with Connecticut’s transportation commissioner, Joseph Marie, at a recent public hearing, but that he didn’t appear to know anything about it. A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said a district office evaluated the company’s request to appear on the adopt a highway signs, as it does with all requests for the program.

The office “found no concerns that would warrant not allowing for the placement of the signs,” DOT spokesman Judd Everhart said.

LUV Boutique owns stores in Milford and Hartford.

Three signs are near the Hartford store, along a row of adult clubs and stores that can be seen from I-91. The fourth is near the I-95 exit for the Milford store.

Christopher Cooper, a spokesman for Rell, said the governor sees a difference between her effort to curb billboards and an adult-entertainment business appearing on the state signs.

“The governor’s primary goal in removing billboards was to beautify the state and keep inappropriate content off our most heavily traveled highways,” he said. “The adopt a highway program has strict guidelines on signage and what can be posted on them. These are guidelines the Department of Transportation ensures are followed.”


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