News from SCRUB

A Philadelphia business owner arrived to work one morning and found that a large billboard  had fallen onto her Fox Chase office building causing extensive damage.   Initially an inspector from the city’s enforcement agency prevented the billboard company from rebuilding the sign because it was located in a protected area and not allowed to be rebuilt.

The City’s Law Department reversed this order saying that the property owner had no basis to challenge the rebuilding of the billboard because of a Settlement Agreement signed by a former City Solicitor which purports to “legalize” unpermitted billboards while protecting them from having to comply with federal, state and city laws governing outdoor advertising.     

The property owner came to SCRUB for help and we recruited Attorney Charles Sweedler to represent two plaintiffs in a case which could impact hundreds of illegal billboards, restore 9 million dollars in lost license fees, and enable the city to collect millions more in fines and penalties for illegal billboards.

The case, McConville et al, had been removed from the Court of Common Pleas to Federal court at the Law Department’s request, who then followed up with a Motion to Dismiss for lack of Federal standing. A Federal Judge will rule on their request on Monday.  Expect an update when we know more.

Lower Moyamensing “Sign and Design Workshop”  

SCRUB is partnering with the LoMo Civic Association, the Community Design Collaborative and the City Commerce Department in an educational workshop designed to help business owners with sign design ideas and understanding Philadelphia’s accessory sign codes. The workshop will be conducted at 6:30 PM in the Fumo Family Library -2437 South Broad St – on Tuesday, February 1st.  To learn more about signage, visit SCRUB’s signage Resource Center

The Environmental and Safety Impacts of Digital Signs – Feb 3, 8:00 AM at Design Advocacy Group’s Monthly Meeting at AIA Building, 1218 Arch St.  

SCRUB executive director Mary Tracy and former Fels Summer Intern Gregory Young, LEED AP, an architectural designer and recent graduate of Penn’s Graduate School of Design and Planning, will discuss the safety and environmental impacts of digital billboards.  The presentation will include a discussion of Young’s recently released report, “Illuminating the Issues; Digital Signage and Philadelphia’s Green Future”.  

SCRUB, The Public Voice for Public Space

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