A federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of San Diego’s regulations on off-premises commercial messages, City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Thursday.
City law requires that signs advertising goods and services must be located on the businesses where those goods and services are offered. The city attorney’s office found that sign-painting company ArchitectureArt LLC had violated the law beginning in 2010, leasing wall surfaces in downtown San Diego and then painting mural advertisements for off-site products on those walls.
According to Elliott’s office, ArchitectureArt painted signage for athletic apparel company Nike, multiple beer companies such as Heineken and Blue Moon and the TV show “The Strain.”
The city cited ArchitectureArt for the signage, prompting the company to sue and argue that its free speech, due process and equal protection rights had been violated. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the company’s claims earlier this month, Elliott said.
“Our sign regulations protect us from visual pollution that detracts from the beauty of our region,” Elliott said. “This verdict is a strong rebuke to anyone who hopes to get rich by illegally transforming our downtown architecture into a canvas for corporate advertisers.”
–City News Service
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