Billboard company files petition against City of Lubbock

Billboard company sues city of Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Choice Dynamic Media, a billboard company based out of Amarillo, filed a petition against the City of Lubbock on June 22.

This petition prompted discussion with other sign advertisers in Lubbock about the cities strict regulations on signage.

"It's too subjective. It has too much open for interpretation by whoever you're trying to pull a permit with. We have old history and current history right now that has affected how we pull a permit and the degree it takes to get a permit," says David Snyder of Haden Signs of Texas.

Choice Media also believes the ordinance is too subjective.

In April, the company applied for five billboards around Lubbock but were individually denied based on what Choice Media calls "unfounded reasons as: (1) adding a billboard may increase traffic, and (2) removing illegally imposed restrictions on the existing C-4 zone would open the floodgates for more and other "undesirable" businesses such as night clubs, despite such uses being allowed in the zoning ordinance itself."

After this, the applications were submitted to the Lubbock City Council where they were also denied.

David Snyder of Haden Signs of Texas believes Lubbock is behind many West Texas cities when it comes to sign advertising.

"Right now, I can pull a permit in Amarillo, Midland, Odessa… with very little effort. It's very clear and concise. We can do it online. We cannot pull a permit online in Lubbock, Texas. We have to physically go down there. We have to physically submit our paperwork in person. This is today's technology. We're not there yet. Why are we not there?"

Cole Shooter, an attorney not involved in this case, acknowledges the cities strict rules on sign advertising.

"The City of Lubbock has worked very hard to keep their signs fairly well regulated. They want as much open space as possible."

He also says it will be hard to win a lawsuit against the city because this ordinance, which is decades old, is presumed reasonable in court if not legally challenged after three years.

Shooter says if this were in regard to a political or religious sign though, this may be a different story.

"These are business signs. They're not putting up a religious or a political message. They're doing it as part of a business. Most of the time the city is able to go through and regulate that, within reason, as they're allowed to by the Texas Legislature."

Lubbock City Council will discuss the lawsuit on Thursday, but because it is during executive session those details won't be released.

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