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City of Sheboygan gets taken to court over billboard

One of the billboards owned by Link Media Outdoor along Racetrack Road and Interstate 43 in Sheboygan
One of the billboards owned by Link Media Outdoor along Racetrack Road and Interstate 43 in Sheboygan

SHEBOYGAN — A billboard company has sued the City of Sheboygan over a billboard on the city’s far south side.

In June, Link Media Outdoor filled a lawsuit against the City of Sheboygan over billboards the company owns along Racetrack Road. The billboards can be seen by motorists on Interstate 43 and the company wants to upgrade the sign to a digital LED and rise the height.

According to the company, the billboard has become partially obstructed by a sign for the Van Horn Hyundai dealership. Before the Wisconsin Department of Transportation grants Link permission to make changes to the billboard, it generally requires sign owners, such as Link, to secure the approval of local zoning authorities. According to documents obtained by WKTS News, there is a dispute between Link and the City of Sheboygan as to whether the City has the authority to regulate permitted signs located in “business areas.”

When asked about the billboards, City Attorney Charles Adams said no application was ever made by Link, nor did the City of Sheboygan issue any denial. Link Media Outdoor, through the law offices of von Briesen & Roper, provided the following statement regarding the legal matter:

Link Media Outdoor (“Link”) initiated this legal action to request the court to confirm Link’s legal opinion that the State (WisDOT) has the exclusive authority to regulate outdoor advertising signs in certain areas along the Interstate Highway System, including the area in which Link’s sign is located near Racetrack Road.  What precipitated this action was the City of Sheboygan’s refusal to permit Link to elevate its sign, which had become partially obstructed following the erection of a newer sign in the area.

Link Media Outdoor statement

A motion hearing on the case is scheduled for November 2nd before Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Samantha Bastil.