Friday, October 23, 2009

Downtown L.A. Power Struggle FLARES Over AEG Billboards at City Council Meeting


Once again, seems like there is confusion in L.A. City Council chambers as Bill Carter from the Nuch's City Attorney office informed council that the C.A.'s office does not feel a sign permit should be issued to AEG for "off site" signage at the Regal Movie Theaters. (This appears to be the most important issue in City history.)

Some of the confusion may even be about what the C.A.'s office is saying is allowed and isn't allowed to be installed.

The building permits, which were filed BEFORE the ban was put into effect are valid and Mr. Carter informed AEG and Council that they ARE allowed to build the sign frames, themselves.

However, you need a separate, "sign permit," to be able to install the actual sign. And it was made clear that AEG is even allowed to install "on site" signage, just not off site.

Mr. Carter said they could build the signs and put Michael Jackson "This Is It' Movie signs up and even wonder aloud why they haven't done that noting that NOT putting up the Jackson signs is, "their own business decision."

OFF SITE signage, which Carter feels is NOT allowed under the new ban, means AEG cannot advertise other products or services OFF THE AEG SITE. For example, can't advertise for an airline or automobile dealer -- OR OTHER RELATED AEG PROPERTIES, like hotels.

Tim Lewikie is making it clear, if they city don't follow through on the "deal" they thought they had, they'll lose $100 million dollars and sounds like he's gonna sue.

The big word in this issue is "vested." The city attorney's office doesn't feel the "vested" applies in this situation since there is a new ban in effect.

Koretz and Parks both mentioned that when they passes the sign ordinance (ban) it was not supposed to affect THESE AEG billboards that they all felt were vested.

However, "legislative intent is not the law," noted Carter back to Koretz.

"Out of an abundance of caution." That's what Bill Carter is calling," their initial measure of the issue is not about on site signs. AEG can, and could have done it for two weeks. They have built already. They want to put up OFF SITE signs, that's what this is about."

Zuma Dogg says you can expect Council to go back to hiring outside council a lot more often again. (That's from a council chamber fly on the wall.)


* You need a separate permit for the installation of the sign.

* A building permit does not cover the sign, itself, you need a sign permit.

* You need a building permit, first. THEN, the sign permit.

The entire conversation is over the installation of the sign, not the building of the frame itself.

The sign must be "on site" advertising, NOT "on site" advertising.

If they wanted to put a sign up for the Jackson movie, it's ok, but not for American Airlines.

"If it's before Dec 22 08, then it's ok to put THAT sign up."

KNBC News Raw is broadcasting this hearing LIVE, and this is just about the biggest deal since Billy the Elephant and once again, I wish LAUSD and a few other issues would get this much media attention.

MY PREDICTION: Council WILL approve. That's what they do. They'll say they can't risk the city attorney's opinion being wrong (since it's not a slam dunk, but just their opinion): Carter is merely asking them to wait on a decision, but if it's not made today, it will be too late under the deadline.) And Council will say they don't want to risk being sued by AEG for $100s of millions. AND, they are going to vote in the legislative spirit of what they thought in the first place (that the new ban would affect these AEG off site billboards that they thought were "vested," even though Carter says that ain't good enough. AND, if the city passes these, others can sue by others who can claim "discrimination" (the city was found to be unconstitutional by picking and choosing who gets billboard permits and who doesn't) and the ban will be overturned. Council ain't going to go against big business like AEG because boo-hoo-hoo if they send a bad message to business.

LOOKS LIKE VILLARAIGOSA'S DAYS AS THE "BAD GUY" ARE OVER...Hello "LA City's Attorney's Office. The new punching bag for the "it's not our fault/you can't do this to us/boo hoo hoo" mentality inside LA City Hall.


"He's clearly given 'watch dogg' a whole new meaning." - Janice Hahn on Nuch. And added, "we treat people with respect in this city." Adding she hopes people don't go to jail if these permits are issued.

HERB WESSON is hammering Nuch, right now. Even though he said he likes what he is seeing in the city attorney's office, he questions Nuch running around to Tim Lewikie and Building and Safety executives in pre-emptive meetings like the ones where he threatened to throw people in jail WITHOUT city council asking him to do that, first.

"I think we lose, and we lose BIG if we follow your (City Attorney Carter's) advice today." - CM Greg Smith

Even Nuch's closest ally Dennis Zine is going to vote to allow this stuff through.

Council let their hired help (the city attorney's office) who is the boss and who is the client in THIS town! (AND, Jan Perry just announced what I mentioned above that she has a motion that will be looking for money to hire outside council, cause she doesn't feel comfortable having Nuch's office represent her (Perry) on this matter, any more due to his comments how he is against this and threatening to throw people (including her) in jail.

1:55PM OUTCOME: This was not a decision for city council to make. It is "Building and Saftey's" call as to whether to issue the permits, or not. Council was just making a recommendation on the matter.


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