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Clear Channel Outdoor Inc.Loses Appeal of Tucson’s Signage Law

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Essay title: Clear Channel Outdoor Inc.Loses Appeal of Tucson’s Signage Law

Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. Loses Appeal of Tucson’s Signage Law

The State Court of Appeals has ruled against Clear Channel Outdoor Inc., who claims that many of their company’s signs that were removed were not in violation of the city of Tucson’s strict sign ordinance. The decision of the court specifically focuses on the company’s dispute with Tucson, but the ruling will also affect many other communities who find themselves in similar disputes with billboard companies.

Clear Channel Outdoor Inc., who claims to be the world’s largest outdoor advertiser, filed for an appeal earlier this month, once many signs were removed from several communities (Fischer, 2008). The company claims that housing communities do not reserve the right to remove any billboards even if they are in direct violation, and that inspectors should have known that the signs violated the city’s sign code (Fischer, 2008).

Tucson, who has one of the most restrictive billboard ordinances in Arizona, claims that many of the signs owned by Clear Channel are in direct violation of strict measures that were passed in 1980, and is the main reason behind the suit filed against the billboard company (Fischer, 2008). Those measures restrict the building of any new billboards throughout Tucson. In addition, it also calls for the removal of any current billboards once they have reached the point of repair, or falling apart with age. Once a community notices a sign that meets these standards for removal, it must issue a citation within two years after discovering the violation.

Clear Channel’s main defense is that its billboards have been around for years before the city sued. If the city of Tucson want the removal of the companies signs, then it should have been addressed once the city knew of a direct violation, not years later. This is a direct violation of the two year citation window. However, in its defense, the State Court of Appeals denied this motion, claiming that the plain language of the law, specifically, the use of the word “discovery,” means that the time limit starts once officials determine the billboards do, in fact, violate the sign code (Fischer, 2008).

Because this specific case is civil, meaning it deals with a dispute between people and or organization which can be compensated, Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. can be expected to be forced to remove as many as 170 billboards that Tucson finds illegal, if the company loses the ongoing legal battle (Fischer, 2008). In order for this to happen, the court would only have to collect as little as 51 to 49 votes, claiming that the signs are in direct violation. This would be huge for a company whose main means of profit deals with advertising in such a dense marketing

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