LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of digital billboards throughout the Southland will have to come down after a state appellate court struck down an agreement between the city and two major billboard companies.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports the 2006 settlement agreement had allowed Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor to violate a 2002 ban on new signs and digital billboards.
The agreement ended a lawsuit over the city’s billboard inspection law and fees and also allowed the companies to convert 840 static billboards to digital signs in exchange for taking down other static billboards.
But Summit Media – which was not included in the settlement – filed suit in Superior Court claiming the agreement was not valid.
A judge ruled in 2009 that the settlement was illegal, forcing the city to halt the issuing of all digital sign permits to both billboard companies, but only after about 100 digital signs had been erected across town.
On Monday, a a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal, upheld that ruling, calling the agreement “invalid
and unenforceable” and ordered all permits revoked.
Opponents of the deal like Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, said the ruling made for “a happy day for us.”
“The Court of Appeal ruled that the digital billboards were put up there pursuant to an illegal deal, that settlement that the city made in 2006, should be revoked,” Hathaway said.
It remains unclear whether either Clear Channel Outdoor or CBS Outdoor will consider appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court.