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Fight Over L.A. Live Ads Headed to City Council

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, October 17, 2009, at 05:23PM
Regal Signage Eric Richardson [Flickr]

These signage frames on the side of L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas could stay empty if City Attorney Carmen Trutanich gets his way. Trutanich this week threatened charges if permits for the previously-approved signs were issued.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is adamant that no permits be issued for signs planned as part of L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas, opening on October 27. The L.A. Times reported last night that Trutanich has threatened jail time for city building officials and Councilwoman Jan Perry if the signs went up.

At the center of the dispute is Los Angeles' hastily-passed August ban on supergraphics and how it applies to projects already underway.

The August ordinance was pitched as a backup plan to ensure that the City was covered legally if the District Court issued a ruling that the existing moratorium was invalid while Council was on recess.

Two exceptions were included in the blanket ban on supergraphics and off-site signage. One allows for signs where building permits had been issued before the ban was put into place and where substantial work had been done.

That applies in the case of the Regal, according to Perry. In a motion filed Friday, she noted that "the proposed signage has been issued building permits for sign structures and substantial work has been performed on-site."

Perry emphasized that she was simply asking about why the final permits had not been given when Trutanich made his threat. "I was merely doing my job and making an inquiry," she told blogdowntown today. "It's a legitimate question to ask."

Her motion -- CF 09-2559 -- asks that Building and Safety report "whether it intends to exercise its duties ... to act on pending building permit requests for the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District." The motion would normally go to the Council's Planning committee, but Perry said that it may instead come before the full Council this week.

The Regal signs are not the only signs at L.A. Live approved but not yet built. An 8,000 square foot digital display -- roughly 55 feet wide and 160 feet tall -- is approved for the lower east face of the hotel tower.

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