Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Tells Firm to Take Down Two Billboards

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Tells Firm to Take Down Two Billboards

Article excerpt

Judge Kenneth Romines has ordered Carpenter Outdoor Advertising Co. to remove two billboards it erected in Bridgeton in a maneuver City Attorney Bill Richter called "the stealth scenario."

In a recent report to the Bridgeton City Council, Richter said that Carpenter was able to obtain last month a court order barring Bridgeton from halting Carpenter's installation of the billboards.

"They got this order on Thursday and presented it to Bridgeton on Friday," he said. "Then, on Saturday, they went ahead and put them up." The following week, a new Missouri billboard law went into effect to give municipalities the authority to regulate the spacing, height and lighting of billboards. Richter said that although the previous Missouri law had said cities could not regulate the size of the sign, the spacing or the lighting, municipal ordinances regulating billboards could not be nullified by state statute. He said Carpenter's position was that the company did not have to abide by Bridgeton's building codes. "You cannot put up a billboard unless you follow city ordinance and have the required permit," Richter said. Larry Carpenter says his company did not "sneak in" and put up the billboards. "We got the court order on Aug. 21 and presented it to Bridgeton on Aug. 22. We constructed the billboards on Aug. 25, 26 and 27." The billboards are on St. Charles Rock Road west of Interstate 270 and on Hollenberg Drive west of the Holiday Inn West. …

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