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City attorney investigates unpermitted supergraphic

February 26, 2010 |  4:46 pm

Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich took aim Friday at another over-sized supergraphic, saying his office has opened an investigation into an unpermitted, multistory advertising image on a building at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Investigators with Trutanich’s office went early Friday to a billboard where an oversized ad for the movie “How to Train Your Dragon” is stretched across two sides of the 1927 First National Bank building. That building’s owners do not have permission to erect such a sign, according to a Trutanich spokesman.

The sign went up days after Trutanich filed a 97-page lawsuit against World Wide Rush and 26 other defendants alleging that supergraphics in a dozen locations pose a nuisance to the public. Trutanich spokesman John Franklin said he did not know the name of the company responsible for the new supergraphic on Hollywood Boulevard. But an activist with the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight said he suspects that the company responsible for the image is iMedia Outdoor.

The telephone number listed on a website for iMedia Outdoor connects callers to what appears to be a fax machine. The website said the locations of the company’s signs are confidential.

Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, said he was surprised to see the image go up so soon after Trutanich filed his case against World Wide Rush. “To put it up a day after is like thumbing their nose at the city,” he said.

“Either they’re not afraid of the city or they figure it‘s worth the risk,” he said. “There’s a lot of money involved.”

 -- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times