Monday, August 29, 2011

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich Told To Remove Billboards

Following the Los Angeles Dragnet's exclusive on City Attorney Carmen Trutanuch's alleged off-site billboards, an inspector from the Building and Safety Dept. has told Trutanich that his billboards must be removed.

This from the Dragnet:

The Los Angeles City Attorney's billboards on Ventura Boulevard "Should be taken down" Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, told the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise, Friday, August 26, 2011.

Despite claims that Carmen Trutanich's off-site billboards are not "Illegal Advertisements," Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety Inspector Luke Zamparini told the Met News that Trutanich's billboards “can’t stay up forever.”

Zamparini stated that he had viewed one of Trutanich's billboards using Google Maps and believed that “it looks like a vinyl sign that’s just stuck up there like a 'Grand Opening' or 'Going Out of Business' sign occasionally used by businesses."

It's hard to imagine what Zamparini was actually looking at when he made his determination that Trutanich's billboard was a “temporary sign like that doesn’t require a permit,” because the photo we produced in our August 24, 2011 exclusive "Trutanich Billboard Blunder?" clearly depicts a permanent sign which has been in place for over 2 years.

We also used Google Maps to try to understand the rationale behind Zamparini's determination, and challenge any reader to agree that the Google Maps picture shows anything other than a permanent sign.

 The Met News also spoke to the City Attorney's Office about Trutanich's seemingly illegal off-site billboards, however, Trutanich did not respond personally, perhaps electing to hide behind a deputy who made the rather surprising statement that "the determination of the signs’ legality is not one that is made by his [the City Attorney's] office," adding that “we’ll defer to any other department or office to make that decision.”

Now that Inspector Zamparini has decided that the signs cannot remain forever, we trust that Trutanich will comply with the law and remove his billboards before Zamparini conducts a field inspection and determines the sign to be permanent and not a “temporary sign" "that doesn’t require a permit.”

As previously stated, if Zamparini determines the four Trutanich billboards to be in violation of the city's law, the fines of $1,000 a day per sign amounts to over $2.9M, which the city would most likely welcome in the midst of their budget crisis.



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