Rapid City to consider new settlement in billboard lawsuit
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Rapid City will consider a potential settlement in a long-running lawsuit over billboards in the city.
Epic Outdoor Advertising challenged two 2011 city ordinances that effectively banned the company’s digital billboards. The company had been running full-motion videos on four billboards in Rapid City since 2005 and believed its billboards were grandfathered in as legal.
The ordinances also restricted the size and height of new static billboards and put a 20-year expiration date on sign credits.
A court ruled in December that the Zoning Board of Appeals exceeded its authority by “retroactively applying” the newer ordinances against Epic’s billboards. But Epic appealed the court’s decision to deny their request for the city pay their attorney fees. The city also appealed the ruling.
The City Council will discuss a new settlement offer Monday that Epic’s attorney Michal Sabers presented to City Attorney Joel Landeen last month, the Rapid City Journal reported . The council shot down a similar settlement attempt last summer.
Epic’s new settlement offer proposes the company stop running full-motion video on all its billboards and commit to fully complying with the city ordinances in the future. In exchange, the city would need to approve multiple ordinance amendments, including increasing the maximum allowable size and height of billboards along Interstate 90.
The city would also have to remove a provision that requires full-motion video billboards to run public service advertising for a minimum of 12 minutes every hour.
Rapid City also faces another pending lawsuit over the legality of the sign credit system. That case will continue in civil court.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com