In August 2006, Mayor Street, City Solicitor Diaz and representatives of the billboard industry announced that they reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit brought by the billboard industry. The Billboard Settlement Agreement legalized hundreds of unpermitted billboards, reduced licensing fees for outdoor advertisers, and shut down community-based efforts to removed non-conforming and illegal signs. SCRUB has filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs who have been negatively affected.
Some of the provisions of Billboard Consent Agreement include:
- Legalizing previously un-permitted and illegal billboards with no regard for zoning, prohibited areas, spacing requirements, or traffic safety concerns.
- Removing the requirement for safety inspections of billboard structures, despite recent examples of billboards that have collapsed in the region.
- Reducing the proposed fee structure $650 to a level ($50) that will not allow for effective oversight by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
- Stripping the legal rights of community groups and residents to challenge the legalization of illegal billboards.
- Legalizing billboards despite permit containing a different address or is of a greater size and height.
How will it affect your neighborhood?
- Un-permitted, illegal or unsafe billboards were granted a legal right to remain, undermining revitalization or beautification efforts.
- The Agreement has allowed billboard owners to rebuild billboards located in prohibited areas. I
- Over 27 million dollars in billboard fines and 9,000 000 in annual license fees remain uncollected as a result of this Agreement.