Adams loses Madison Lawsuit Appeal

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a state Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling to dismiss Adams Outdoor Advertising’s $740,000 lawsuit claiming the city of Madison’s Cannonball bike path bridge over the Beltline blocks views of the company’s billboard from eastbound traffic.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2014, claimed the city never consulted Adams when it was planning the pedestrian bridge, that workers trespassed on its property during bridge construction, and that the completed bridge blocks the sign from eastbound traffic.

The Appeals Court’s 13-page decision says Adams’ claim of a taking is foreclosed by two state Supreme Court decisions. One says that an unobstructed view from the roadway is not a protected property interest, and the other that a taking can’t be established because the property as a whole still retains some value.

Adams can chose to appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court.

Interestingly, after Adams filed the lawsuit, the city passed an ordinance  which now lets companies, under limited circumstances, remove existing signs, “bank” the square footage, and put up a replacement elsewhere. Adams’ billboard would not be eligible for the program unless a redevelopment of that property required removal of the sign.


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