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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ind. Decisions - "LED billboard wins court approval"

The Dec. 7, 2010 COA opinion in Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals v. Lamar Advertising Northwest Indiana (NFP) is the subject of a story today in the Gary Post Tribune. Some quotes from Christin Nance Lazerus' report:

A recent court decision allows an LED billboard to keep lighting up the night in Valparaiso.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the granting of a billboard improvement permit near U.S. 30 and Joliet Road.

In 2007, Lamar Advertising Northwest Indiana requested a permit to replace an existing billboard with an electronic sign near U.S. 30 and Joliet Road in Valparaiso.

Porter County Planning Commission Executive Director Bob Thompson denied the permit, and the BZA affirmed the denial upon Lamar's appeal. Porter County Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford ruled in Lamar's favor at the trial court level and approved the permit.

Thompson said several requests came in around that time because the county was in the process of updating its sign ordinance. The current ordinance, passed in 2007, is more restrictive for electronic signs.

The BZA rejected the permit because an ordinance at the time allowed only one poster panel on the face of a sign.

"I argued that the sign was an electronic digital and not posterboard, but the courts disagreed," Thompson said.

The BZA stated it was denying the permit for safety and welfare reasons, particularly that it would be distracting to drivers, Thompson said.

The billboard would display six different advertisements at 10-second intervals, and brightness could be adjusted for weather conditions.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 9, 2010 10:01 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions