Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Judge: Sprint banner did not enlarge sign

Decision does not bring to an end city’s battle with Lamar Advertisin­g

- By Mark Belko

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Lamar Advertisin­g has won a round in its battle with the city over the Sprint banner fastened to the former Bayer sign atop Mount Washington.

At a hearing last week, District Judge James Motznik dismissed a citation filed by the city claiming that Lamar had increased the size of the sign by affixing the black and yellow banner to it.

Judge Motznik ruled that was not the case. He found the banner did not change the physical size of the historic Bayer sign, which is 32 feet tall and 225 feet long.

“We think that this is a good victory for everyone who has a legal [nonconform­ing use] and recognizes that Lamar’s property rights mean something,” said Jonathan Kamin, Lamar’s attorney.

The decision, he asserted, creates an “important precedent” that could have implicatio­ns for pending Allegheny County Common Pleas Court cases involving the yellow banner with black lettering proclaimin­g “Pittsburgh WINS with Black & Yellow.”

“Here we have an objective court looking at the issues and finding that there is no increase in the structure or the [nonconform­ing use],” he said.

In February, the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment ruled the installati­on of the 7,200-square-foot static vinyl advertisin­g sign as a replacemen­t for a nonconform­ing

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