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L.A. businessman agrees to remove Hollywood supergraphic

March 1, 2010 |  2:52 pm

After spending three days in jail, a Pacific Palisades businessman agreed Monday to take down an eight-story supergraphic advertisement that was wrapped around a prominent Hollywood office building.

Kayvan Setareh, 49, reached an agreement with Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich that lowered his bail from $1 million to $100,000 in exchange for the sign’s removal. He is accused of violating the city’s sign law by installing the supergraphic -- a vinyl or plastic sign that can be draped across one or more sides of a building -- without a permit.

Setareh’s arraignment in Los Angeles County Superior Court was postponed to March 30. His lawyer, Andrew M. Stein, criticized Judge Mildred Escobedo for agreeing to the original bail amount.

Stein said he did not believe the sign posed any hazard, as city prosecutors allege.

“I don’t think my client’s sign endangered the public any more than the other signs that have been put up and down Sunset Boulevard over the last 10 years -- permitted or unpermitted,” he said.

Last week’s arrest was by far the most aggressive move by Trutanich in his campaign against unapproved outdoor advertising. Lawyers in Trutanich’s office have argued that the supergraphic posed a threat to public safety, saying the heavy vinyl could fall on motorists and pedestrians if it was not properly reviewed by city inspectors.

Neighborhood activists have long complained that outdoor advertising companies violate the city’s sign laws with impunity, reaping millions of dollars in revenue. Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, described Monday’s proceedings as “the dawn of a new day.”

“This is certainly sending a very strong message to these companies that you can’t just put out a big illegal sign anywhere you want,” he said.

Setareh is scheduled to be released by Monday night. Removal of the sign is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall