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Old 02-04-2018, 08:26 PM
 
362 posts, read 204,124 times
Reputation: 629

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ylisa7 View Post
That is the only statement that will be used in court. Who ever sells their version the best will win. I think the homeowners could win but I'm glad I don't live next to them. That is one hideous house.
They are going to smoke the city on this. I had a similar case when I served on zoning board of adjustment in my city. In that case it was over a giant shark sculpture that formed the entrance to a beach shop(shells, tshirts, towels, souvenirs). You walked though the mouth to go in the store. I did a big review of case law and basically found out that the definition of the sign all cities use is overly broad and unconstitutional. It's the same definition you cite.

This issue has been ligated a lot in a lot of different places. It's the question of where does signage end and art begin. Every final appellate decision I found made the line pretty clear. A sign must have a commercial message, otherwise it is not a sign and cannot be regulated. So what's a commercial message? The name of a business or a trademark. The seminal Texas Supreme Court Case was over a 50 foot tall saxophone outside a blues bar in Houston. They found since the saxophone wasn't a trademarked image it was art not a sign. So Wendy's could put out a giant unmarked hamburger but could not put out a giant statue of Wendy. In this case it's not even a business so the city is s.o.l.

In my case I was the lone vote in favor of the shark. The folks building it promptly sued the city and won in district court. I still remember the head of development services whining that the thing was structurally unsound and dangerous in a hurricane(trying for a generic safety issue). Funnily enough the area was later hit by hurricane. Every sign in the neighborhood was damaged, none of the sharks(now numbering 4) had a lick of damage on them.

The other problem is the definition is so overly broad as to be unenforceable. Anything drawing attention to a building can be unusual or specific architecture including a business standard building like every major fast food chain has(like how you can see old re-purposed buildings and tell what it was just by the architecture). Can be bright paint, landscaping and even non standard siting or rotation of the building. Since they aren't out requiring sign permits for those types of things they are going to have an equal protection issue and enforcement issue on top of the clear cut art as protected speech issue.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:44 PM
 
3,191 posts, read 1,850,707 times
Reputation: 3534
Quote:
Originally Posted by I love boots. View Post
I've had worse neighbors.
Right! As long as they're not playing salsa all weekend every weekend, and their lights don't shine into neighbors windows they are good!
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:52 PM
 
4,066 posts, read 2,055,040 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
I love Van Gogh's The Starry Night very much. I appreciate the freedom to paint your house in the manner you want, and I think the city rightfully should be facing an uphill battle. Probably prefer this silent nuisance to top volume parties, tinkering with a yard full of half dead muscle cars, a pack of dirt bikes, family mayhem in the wee small hours. Come to think of it, they could have painted it on the INSIDE of the house where they could enjoy it in peace.

This seems to be waving a red shirt at a bull. Maybe that was the real point.
I agree that it would have been much better to paint INSIDE instead of outside. It will attract lookyloos to the neighborhood.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:55 PM
 
4,066 posts, read 2,055,040 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalope48 View Post
They are going to smoke the city on this. I had a similar case when I served on zoning board of adjustment in my city. In that case it was over a giant shark sculpture that formed the entrance to a beach shop(shells, tshirts, towels, souvenirs). You walked though the mouth to go in the store. I did a big review of case law and basically found out that the definition of the sign all cities use is overly broad and unconstitutional. It's the same definition you cite.

This issue has been ligated a lot in a lot of different places. It's the question of where does signage end and art begin. Every final appellate decision I found made the line pretty clear. A sign must have a commercial message, otherwise it is not a sign and cannot be regulated. So what's a commercial message? The name of a business or a trademark. The seminal Texas Supreme Court Case was over a 50 foot tall saxophone outside a blues bar in Houston. They found since the saxophone wasn't a trademarked image it was art not a sign. So Wendy's could put out a giant unmarked hamburger but could not put out a giant statue of Wendy. In this case it's not even a business so the city is s.o.l.

In my case I was the lone vote in favor of the shark. The folks building it promptly sued the city and won in district court. I still remember the head of development services whining that the thing was structurally unsound and dangerous in a hurricane(trying for a generic safety issue). Funnily enough the area was later hit by hurricane. Every sign in the neighborhood was damaged, none of the sharks(now numbering 4) had a lick of damage on them.

The other problem is the definition is so overly broad as to be unenforceable. Anything drawing attention to a building can be unusual or specific architecture including a business standard building like every major fast food chain has(like how you can see old re-purposed buildings and tell what it was just by the architecture). Can be bright paint, landscaping and even non standard siting or rotation of the building. Since they aren't out requiring sign permits for those types of things they are going to have an equal protection issue and enforcement issue on top of the clear cut art as protected speech issue.
I just love it when a PC reason is used as a mask for the real motivation. Good for you supporting the business owners!
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:45 PM
Status: "Soon I'll hear old winter's song.." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
5,391 posts, read 2,847,123 times
Reputation: 7086
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
It may be a technicality, since "graffiti" might send someone to jail while "a sign" might be a civil offense with a fine instead. We just don't know.

In my opinion is was poorly done, and is sort of like a huge unattractive billboard. Van Gogh would not approve.
You might be right. He might give them an "earful."
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:53 PM
 
Location: North
810 posts, read 1,270,843 times
Reputation: 956
While I don't really like what they did with the house, I think the city is wrong. The paint job is not a sign and homeowners should be free to paint their house the way they see fit, be it a Van Gogh's painting, black, gold with purple polka dots or anything else.

It might attract some traffic, but I also refuse to believe that just because my neighbor has bad taste, then my house is automatically worth $50K less.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:03 AM
Status: "Soon I'll hear old winter's song.." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
5,391 posts, read 2,847,123 times
Reputation: 7086
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
A glowing example of one reason I like HOA's.

So that they can tell you what do with your property as opposed to the city?
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:06 AM
 
5,824 posts, read 3,298,927 times
Reputation: 13579
UGLY! But I've seen other ugly houses too. I do agree with following the city or HOA statutes though, as you can find out what they are before you buy your house.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:14 AM
Status: "Soon I'll hear old winter's song.." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
5,391 posts, read 2,847,123 times
Reputation: 7086
Still looks better than those houses in Miami that have that cheesy neon-coloured wall thing going on. Highlighter pink, blue and yellow walls look far worse than the homeowners equivalent of a desktop background.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:19 AM
 
588 posts, read 121,986 times
Reputation: 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational
I hope the owners win when they go to Court
Indeed the whole thing is stupid..... ITS THIER HOUSE,if they want this thing there,ITS THIER RIGHT!!!
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