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19 Action News gets action in downtown Cleveland. The illegal public banners have finally taken down.

They popped up all over downtown, dozens of huge banners hanging from the sides of buildings.

One problem, only six of them were authorized.

The massive banners are big money, thousands of dollars a month, so sign companies fought the city’s order to take the cash cows down. They lost, and while parts of the city are now missing this eye pollution, other areas remain blighted.

“Both of the wall murals that went up without permits are down now,” said Cleveland Planning Dept. Director Robert Brown.

The banners hawk everything from banking to booze to legal bookmaking. Large banners, known as wall murals and there was an explosion of them downtown this summer. Far more than the six city council authorized. One mural was nearly ten stories tall.

Billboard companies fought tooth and nail to keep the signs up, even though they never had permission to hang them. Orange Barrel Media from Columbus went to the Board of Building Standards and the Board of Zoning Appeals claiming the city had no right to tell them what to do.

Both turned down the appeal and actually then the case has been appealed to the court. The billboard company asked for an injunction, but ultimately was not granted.

There are still more court challenges pending for the mural that used to hang on the building on West 3rd Street and the other one downtown that has been taken down. But a bigger concern are the many signs that remain, but haven’t or can’t be cited by the city. They stand both uncited and unsightly.

Many are legal because they have been grandfathered in. Once a sign is approved, even if it was decades ago, it can change as long as it doesn’t get any bigger.

Orange Barrel isn’t giving up.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News