Content Neutrality Violations Noted in Michigan

The landmark content-neutrality/prior-restraint ruling from North Olmsted is cited in Thomas Township. The message cannot determine the medium. With modest apologies to Marshall McLuhan, when the medium is signage, the courts have bestowed kid-glove treatment upon content neutrality, while wholeheartedly endorsing the tenets of North Olmsted (see ST, December 1999, page 52, and April 2000, […]

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Court Overturns Madison, WI Ban on Portable Signs

  This article, written by sign-code expert, John Gann, originally appeared in the September 2002 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. Madison, WI, has been rated by Money magazine as the best medium-sized city in the United States. The city owes its amenities not only to nature and the generosity of taxpayers, but also […]

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Reconciling Santa Monica’s Ban on Pole Signs

The contentious code — which eliminates all pole signs — takes effect This article, written by Jennifer Flinchpaugh, originally appeared in the May 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. No projecting signs. No upper-level signs. No roof signs. And no off-premise signs. Certainly Santa Monica, CA’s sign code, adopted in 1985 and scheduled […]

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How USSC and ISA Jointly Improved the Intl. Zoning Code

After two years of collaborative effort, the ICC, ISA and USSC release the Intl. Zoning Code’s new-and-improved sign chapter The following article originally appeared in the January 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Jennifer Flinchpaugh “An estimated 80,000 communities could have adopted the ICC’s zoning code and, by default, the problematic sign […]

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North Olmsted’s Prior Restraint and Content-based Sign Code

The following article originally appeared in the December 1999 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By John Yarger, Esq., and Jennifer Flinchpaugh On Aug. 17, Federal Magistrate Judge Patricia Hemann of Ohio’s Northern District filed her “Report and Recommendations” regarding the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce vs. City of North Olmsted lawsuit. In her […]

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How An Appraisal Could have Defeated Amortization in Mississippi

Mississippi circuit court upholds amortization of signage, but could this tragedy have been prevented? The following article originally appeared in the June 1999 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Dr. R. James Claus Thomas A. Claus contributed to this article. He is completing studies at Portland (OR) State University and will begin attending […]

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Sign-Valuation Arguments Thwart Amortization Against Michael’s

Richfield, MN, realized what it might have to pay in just compensation and let Michael’s keep its on-premise billboard The following article originally appeared in the December 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By John Yarger, Esq. A Michaels crafts store in Richfield, MN, was recently the target of an amortization scheme. On […]

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Is a Sign Company an Advertising Service?

Of course it is, state the authors. But as happened in a recent South Dakota case, the question can only be answered by constructing a carefully worded argument. The following article originally appeared in the November 1987 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By R. James Claus and Karen Claus The question of whether a […]

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Sign Codes and the Need for Advocacy

The following article originally appeared in the September 1983 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By R. James Claus (Part one of a speech given at the Eight-Sheet Outdoor convention in San Francisco.) Introduction The future of the eight-sheet industry has been, and will continue to be, shaped by the development of sign codes. […]

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Some Policy Considerations For Sign Legislation

Signs and Their Functions By Dr. R. James Claus This article originally appeared in the August 1973 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. It’s appropriate to offer some elementary information about signs and to define some of the more common terms to be found in the literature on signage. Because controversies over banning billboards, for […]

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