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Hathaway: Lady Liberty Wilshire Signs Are "Clearly Illegal"

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Over the last week, supergraphics company SkyTag plastered the city with Statue of Liberty images, upsetting local homeowners near Wilshire and Highland. SkyTag owner Mike McNeilly told us the "these buildings were legally imaged," but he also seemed to be inviting a lawsuit (he seems to enjoy legal tussles with the city). City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is expected to issue a statement on the billboards soon, but we're still confused about the legality/illegality of the images, so we forwarded the photos, specifically of just the building at 4929 Wilshire, which homeowners had complained about, to Dennis Hathaway, head of watchdog group Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, the go to guy for questions about billboards. This is what he wrote in an email: "Those signs are clearly illegal. One, no sign can be legally erected without a building department permit. Some companies have put them up without permits and then sued the city when they were cited, but there hasn't been any final court resolution, although one company, Worldwide Rush, has gotten an injunction against enforcement on certain signs that are already up in specific locations. The city has appealed that injunction, and the case is now in federal appeals court.

Two, supergraphic signs are banned by the city sign ordinance, and can only be legally erected pursuant to sign supplemental use districts, approved specific plans, and approved development agreements. The only places where it would be possible to legally put up a new supergraphic sign right now is in the Hollywood Sign District and the L.A. Entertainment and Sports District (encompassing Staples Center and L.A. Live. An adjacent sign district, the Figueroa/Olympic Sign District, is pending approval by the city council) And in those areas there are very specific regulations regarding things like size and placement, and the individual signs have to get a building department permit before actually being erected. Then the sign would be inspected to make sure it was of approved fireproof material, and installed in such a way that it wouldn't interfere with egress or ingress in the event of a fire."

Meanwhile, yesterday a spokesperson for Councilmember Tom LaBonge's office stated that City Attorney Delgadillo was expected to issue a statement on the billboards soon. Yes, Lady Liberty would really like an answer on this.
· New Supergraphic Low: Statue of Liberty Looks Terrible [Curbed LA]