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Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : CITIES : Orange Must Pay a Fine in a Battle Over Billboards

March 22, 1987|Staff writers Bob Schwartz, Andy Rose and Maria L. LaGanga compiled the Week in Review stories

The City of Orange will be $10,000 poorer because it would not allow an advertising company to put up billboards--at least for the time being.

A federal judge fined the city that amount last week for failing to obey his September order to allow National Advertising Co., based in Illinois, to erect 11 billboards in commercial and industrial areas along the Orange Freeway and on Chapman and Tustin avenues.

City officials had imposed a ban on billboards and then, after U.S District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. declared that ordinance unconstitutional, denied the company permission to put up the billboards on the grounds that they violated city restrictions on signs. The city asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Hatter's ruling, but the high court refused to hear the case and Hatter's previous order to process the permits stands.

Gary Mobley, an attorney for National Advertising, argued that the sign ordinance was never meant to control billboards, but rather signs outside shops.

Hatter did not comment on either the city's or Mobley's argument when he imposed the fine and threatened additional penalties of $1,000 a day if the city did not comply.

On Wednesday, the City Council voted to pay the fine while appealing the judge's order.

"We hope to get vindicated and get it all back," City Manager J. William Little said.

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