Almost a year after the L.A. City Council approved a moratorium on new off-site and supergraphic signs, and four months after it replaced that temporary measure with a permanent ban, advertisers and sign companies continue to wrap, hang, and otherwise display their multi-story supergraphic signs on the walls of buildings throughout the city.
So why are property owners and sign companies willing to risk open violation of the law, and advertising agencies and major corporations willing to look the other way? The answer is easy to surmise from the fact that a large supergraphic in a high-traffic location can generate upwards of $50,000 in monthly revenue, while the maximum fine for violating sign law provisions is $100 a day.
The City Attorney’s office has filed at least two civil suits under a public nuisance provision that allows fines of up to $2,500 a day, but those lawsuits are slowly moving through the courts and any resolution is likely to be months away, if not longer, depending upon appeals.
In the meantime, absent any sudden displays of social and civic responsibility on the part of the outdoor advertising industry, expect to see the city’s public spaces occupied by more and more of these huge sales pitches demanding the attention of everyone driving, walking, bicycling or otherwise moving past them.