Lawsuit Over Billboard Ordinance Settled Out Of Court

An out-of-court settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit filed against Howell Township.

Crossroads Outdoor LLC, an all-digital billboard company, filed the suit in October of 2018 in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleging the township’s moratorium on new sign applications violated their First Amendment rights, specifically as it granted the zoning administrator the power to regulate the content of the signs. It also alleged violations of their due process rights. But court records show that a settlement was reached between the parties in August and an order dismissing the lawsuit entered. No terms of the settlement were released and requests for comment from attorneys for both the township and the billboard company have gone unanswered.

Crossroads Outdoor LLC had applied to place an electronic billboard on the property of the Howell American Legion Devereaux Post 141 in January of 2017, but contended they were repeatedly stalled and delayed in gaining approval until a new ordinance went into effect in November of 2018. The company claimed it suffered monetary loss due to the township’s actions. The township said its land use planner determined the site was, “not viable to erect a billboard because of its over-development and existing uses” and that the proposed billboard itself was never the basis for the application’s denial. (JK)

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