It seems billboard battles are still brewing here in the Rancho Park and Westwood areas. The latest blow is a lawsuit filed by billboard companies seeking to overturn restrictions on digital billboards. I recently got this background and update from the folks over at the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association and added a few links for more info...
Several years ago, a cross-section of residents, business owners and commercial property owners was
invited by the Council office to participate in an innovative community project. In a series of meetings the
group created a framework for an overlay district in our neighborhood to encourage pedestrian-friendly
(NOD) and regulated such things as the types of businesses (eg massage parlors would not be
permitted) and signage (eg signs with moving images).
Before issuing a building permit, Building and Safety is required to consult the overlay district requirements.
Unfortunately, they did not establish such a protocol, and issued permits for digital billboards in two areas
covered by such overlay districts. There were no hearings. The billboards suddenly appeared. WSSM and
other affected Homeowners' Associations appealed the permits. We prevailed at each hearing, and the
two billboard companies, CBS and Clear Channel, did not appeal the final ruling. They have now sued the
City and the Homeowners' Associations. They are apparently trying to overturn the restrictions of overlay
districts, as well as to chill the rights of residents to speak out about problems in their communities.
Stay tuned for the latest on the lawsuit.