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Updated 9 minutes ago
Lamar Advertising missed a 5 p.m. deadline Monday to remove a huge sign from atop Mt. Washington, and Pittsburgh promised to seek a court order to remove the advertisement Tuesday.
Pittsburgh's Department of Permits Licenses and Inspections served Lamar with a violation notice last year after the company pasted a black-and-gold vinyl advertisement for Sprint on the 32-by-225-foot sign that had been, for years, an electronic billboard for Bayer Co.
PLI accused Lamar of erecting the sign without a permit. The company appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which denied the appeal Feb. 16.
Pittsburgh gave Lamar until 5 p.m. Monday to remove the sign or face court action.
Downtown attorney Jonathan Kamin, who represents Lamar, could not be reached for comment.
“We have had no formal response from Lamar, and we are prepared to file tomorrow to compel compliance with the ruling of the zoning board,” said Kevin Acklin, Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff. “We have an obligation to uphold the law, and we remain open to further good faith conversations with Lamar regarding the long-term status of the Mt. Washington sign.”
Peduto has described the sign as a historic landmark dating to the 1920s.
He said it has always been an electronic billboard for local companies, including Bayer, Alcoa and Iron City Beer. The sign used to flash the time and the word “Pittsburgh” on occasion.
The mayor said he's willing to talk with Lamar officials about upgrading the sign for use in a similar fashion, but he doesn't want it to be used as advertising for such things as daily super market specials.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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