Hub officials want to implement a citywide ordinance banning the placement of satellite dishes on the front facades of apartment complexes, calling the current cluttering of the devices "a blight" on the community.
"They are unsightly. ... They also present safety concerns ... in proximity to windows and other emergency escape routes," said City Councilor Matt O'Malley, during a hearing of the Committee on Government Operations Thursday.
The bill, filed by Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, would limit where satellite dishes could be clamped on dwellings and would require the removal of dishes no longer in use.
O'Malley said he supports the bill "100 percent."
LaMattina, who has been working on a way to clean up satellites since 2006, conjured up the concept as he walked his neighborhood in East Boston and noticed the dishes bunching on building fronts.
"This is a problem that needs to be addressed and addressed now," said LaMattina. "They ruin the character of the neighborhoods."
LaMattina said he doesn't want to ban the use of satellites, but wants to make companies responsible for the installation and removal of them.
Committee members heard testimony from a panel of city officials, including representatives from the redevelopment authority and cable office.
The full City Council is expected to vote on the legislation during a meeting on April 25.
Dishing about satellites
City council members discussed the proposed ordinance with department heads Thursday.
If passed, dishes won't be allowed on the fronts of buildings, unless residents are unable to pick up a signal anywhere else.
Currently, there are no zoning codes that directly impact dish placement.
In the city's nine historic districts, dishes have to be installed on a roof or rear facade of a building, and citations can be issued if there are violations.
Officials want companies to work with the city to place dishes in appropriate areas and remove unused devices.