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Supergraphics Ruling Could Mean the End for Statue of Liberty "Murals"

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at 12:29PM
Skytag / California Market Center Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This SkyTag supergraphic on the California Market Center was protected by an injunction that the 9th Circuit today threw out.

Of all the massive wall signs that popped up around Los Angeles in the last days of 2008 and first week of 2009, none provided more puzzlement than the variety of Statue of Liberty and "1969" themed works put up by Michael McNeilly and his SkyTag supergraphics company.

Two of the pieces can be found Downtown, one plastered on the glassy side of the California Market Center and the other painted on a southern face of the City West Mayfair Hotel.

Both should soon be among a number of unpermitted supergraphics that come down as a result of a decision handed down today by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed the city's right to regulate signage and voided injunctions that prevented the city from enforcement action against Skytag and signage company World Wide Rush.

Deputy City Atty. Michael Bostrom told the L.A. Times that the ruling was an “unequivocal” triumph for the city. A number of cases filed against the city by billboard companies had been in limbo while awaiting the ruling, and should now be able to be adjudicated. Also on hold was a rewrite of the city's sign code.

The court affirmed the city's ability to create site-specific rules through sign districts and specific plans, saying that its power to do so "derives from its regular and well-recognized legislative power to regulate land use."

While an attorney for World Wide Rush told the Times that he was consulting with his client about an appeal, the court did cut off one potential avenue of attack, denying an appeal the company had filed seeking more chances to amend its complaint against the city.

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