Pittsburgh sues Lamar Advertising to remove Mt. Washington sign

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 37 minutes ago Pittsburgh filed suit against Lamar Advertising on Tuesday seeking immediate removal of a large sign from atop Mt. Washington. The city and Lamar, the nation's largest outdoor advertiser,...

Pittsburgh sues Lamar Advertising to remove Mt. Washington sign

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Updated 37 minutes ago

Pittsburgh filed suit against Lamar Advertising on Tuesday seeking immediate removal of a large sign from atop Mt. Washington.

The city and Lamar, the nation's largest outdoor advertiser, have battled over the sign since last year when the company converted it from an electronic billboard for Bayer Co. to a black-and-gold vinyl advertisement for Sprint.

Lamar failed to comply with a deadline the city set to remove the sign by 5 p.m. Monday.

Pittsburgh contends Lamar installed the 32-by-225-foot sign without city approval or a required permit. The city last year issued Lamar a notice of violation, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment subsequently denied the company's appeal.

In its court filing, Pittsburgh asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to find Lamar in violation of city zoning rules and order immediate removal of the sign.

Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, declined to comment.

Downtown attorney Jonathan Kamin, who represents Lamar, could not be reached for comment.

Kamin said earlier in the day that Lamar intends to appeal the zoning board decision.

Peduto, who has described the sign as an eyesore, has said he is willing to discuss the possibility of Lamar converting the sign back to an electronic billboard. He said he would support its traditional use as advertisement for local companies but not for such things as daily super market specials.

In addition to Bayer, the sign has promoted companies including Alcoa and Iron City Beer.

“We haven't had any discussions (with Pittsburgh) yet, but we remain willing to talk with them,” Kamin said.

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