Friday, February 19, 2010

Appeals Court Rules NYC Can Limit Billboards

The long standing battle between Metro Fuel and the City of New York has finally come to a conclusion. The result according to the AP...
"A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the city did not violate the First Amendment by limiting the number of billboards along its roadways and parks. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the city's goals of reducing visual clutter, improving the overall aesthetic appearance of the city and regulating traffic safety were reasonable."
Long story short, Metro Fuel erected hundreds of Metro Light structures in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major metropolitan cities. When New York went after the company in an effort to have them removed them, Metro Fuel cried foul and began a lengthy legal battle claiming they had the right to post advertising under the First Amendment. The full ruling, after incredible resources have been spent by the city, can be seen here.

As OAC's are not one to listen to the law in most cases, we were surprised to see the North Shore Neon Sign Co. decommissioning several signs on 21st street today. When asked, the crane operators said that they were in fact removing almost all of the signs from New York. Amazing! This is most likely because in NY, penalties for illegally operating outdoor signage are pretty hefty, when they are enforced. One can imagine that the revenue created by continuing to operate these illegal signs wouldn't make up for the massive losses incurred if the city decided to enforce their removal.

But what about other cities like San Francisco, and particularly like Los Angeles where the fines are not as hefty and where the simple task of locating all of these signs might cost the city hundreds of thousands in tax payer dollars? Will these signs come down? It would seem Los Angeles could demand their removal and forgo the treasure hunt but this is unlikely. Only time will tell how this situation will be dealt with and we will keep you informed.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Maybe The Supreme Court Wants To Weigh In On This One

This usdcsdny.pdf was sent to me regarding the Clear Channel and MetroFuel case with the city of New York. I did a little research and with the help of a friend, found out some simple facts that I think the readers of this site will find interesting.

MetroFuel-Urban Panel

So the story begins when MetroFuel sues LA after LA attempts to get the illegal wall panels MetroFuel operates removed. MetroFuel wins this initial battle and cities across the state afflicted by the same blight recoil and put off cases of their own against the company. LA then appeals this decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and wins. The rest of the country awaits anxiously for MetroFuel to request a rehearing of the Appeal. This second go at the same appeal is what we have been anxiously waiting for and it seems they have been denied their request. That's good news for everyone.

So why haven't those pesky illuminated Urban Panels begun disappearing as a result of this rehearing request? It's my understanding because we are at the last step, the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court decides to hear this case we will obviously be watching closely and reporting diligently.

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