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L.A. Digital Billboard Settlement Thrown Out by Judge

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Photo by zimpenfish via Flickr

Photo by zimpenfish via Flickr
When the city tried to regulate digital billboards earlier this decade, the advertising industry brought on the lawsuits. Out of one big cases, CBS Corp.'s Outdoor division and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. landed a major settlement in 2006: 800 billboards could be converted into digital ones.

While that may have been a win for just two companies (and a loss for the people), other billboard companies called shenanigans. Hey, what about us?!?! So a smaller billboard company, Summit Media, sued because CBS and Clear Channel were getting special treatment, that is, exemptions from a ban on digital billboards.

A superior court judge agreed with Summit and yesterday formally voided the 2006 settlement. However, 101 permits have been given for digital billboards and Judge Terry Green allowed them to stay, saying each of those have to be challenged through the city's appeal process.

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"With the protections of the settlement agreement gone, the city’s administrative hearings would no longer be a futile exercise and the city must apply its codes equally to all,” Green wrote. “Citizen challenges to the billboards could be made on an individual basis, with the merits of each determined independently.”

Councilman Paul Koretz now wants to target those 101 digital billboards for removal.