The spread of digital billboards across Los Angeles was virtually halted a few years ago after a federal appeals court upheld a city billboard ordinance. But a recent legal victory by Lamar Central Outdoor may put it a step closer to installing 45 digital billboards across town, including Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Glassell Park and Silver Lake.
The bright signs have proven lucrative for the billboard industry but opponents say the electronic billboards are intrusive and a source of visual pollution. Dennis Hathaway of Ban Billboard Blight plotted out the 45 Lamar locations based on legal documents. Those locations include an empty lot on Sunset Boulevard in Sunset Junction; above a car wash on Glendale Boulevard; near a freeway onramp on Soto Street; above a used car lot on Alvarado; and by self-storage centers on Eagle Rock Boulevard and San Fernando Road.
City Attorney Mike Feuer said he will appeal last month’s decision by Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin, who sided with Lamar’s claims that the city billboard ordinance violated free-speech rights under state law. Under that ordinance, the city rejected Lamar’s permits to install the 45 digital billboards. Now, the city might have to reconsider those permits if Lavin’s ruling is upheld.
Hathaway, in a blog post, warns that the billboard companies might continue to fight the ordinance even if the city prevails in this most recent legal challenge. “Even if the city is successful on appeal, many involved in billboard issues are wary of what the U.S. Supreme Court might do on this subject in the future.”