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News

LA Times & AEG vs. Carmen Trutanich Over L.A. Live's Digital Billboards

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Will these be filled by digital graphics? Downtown residents discuss at blogdowntown | Photo by Eric Richardson/blogdowntown
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In the process to make L.A. Live a reality, AEG has been going through the city for permits and approvals for eight years. Now with a moratorium on billboards upheld by a judge, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is fighting the installation of six digital billboards at the new 14-screen Regal Cinemas theatre, set to open on Wednesday. Today, the LA Times editorial board chimes in on the issue:

We applaud the City Council's efforts to halt new billboards, and we support a strong, legally enforceable ordinance. But L.A. Live built its signs with specific and repeated city authorization. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and his staff are overreaching in concluding that L.A. Live is not "vested" because it hasn't received a final sign permit. Ifeight years of city approvals and the company's huge investments based on them do not constitute vesting, nothing does. Compounding the problems with the city attorney's position has been his truculence. At one meeting earlier this month, he threatened to jail a city official if he granted AEG's permit. A Trutanich deputy now says that was meant in jest, but it creates an impossible quandary for a well-meaning department head when his own lawyer proposes putting him in jail.

On the other side of things, Ban Billboard Blight is taking Trutanich's position. "Please support the city attorney in his defense of the ban, which has put him at odds with Councilwoman Jan Perry and AEG, the powerful, politically-connected company that owns L.A. Live.," an e-mail newsletter explains. "Let him know that you appreciate his willingness to stand up to political pressure for what he believes is the proper interpretation of the law."

The issue will be discussed and possibly voted upon at todays City Council meeting.