Abandoned board

Hi Frank,

I am looking into one board that city officials think is abandoned.

I asked planning & zoning why they think it’s ‘abandoned’. Their reply was that they think billboard has been abandoned for years and asked for me to provide information that shows that board has been used in the recent past.

During conversations city officials keep using ‘feel’ or ‘think’, which makes me think they don’t have anything concrete to confirm abandonment (I may be wrong). Never have they stated that they have the billboard on abandoned list, or something solid.

How do I proceed and make sure this board is actually legal? Or pull it out to legal status where it can be used again?


Does anyone have any ideas? I am still trying to figure this one out.

Nevermind what they think. Look into your state code on billboards to determine the definition of abandonment. Some is 90 days without advertiser…some 12 months. But who cares… What are they saying you can or cannot do?

In certain areas if a structure falls below 50% quality. (sign face quality, paint, etc) then it is considered beyond repair…

Find out your particulars on abandonment… Get the details on the permits or copies of them… make a deal to rehab the sign and find an advertiser In exchange you are adding value to “distressed” real estate.

wwillison, thank you!

Having an advertiser on a billboard is not what defines it as being “occupied”. In most states, the simple act of trying to rent the ad space defines it as not being vacant. So you can additionally argue that someone has been trying to rent it unsucessfullly in the past. Research that angle, too.

For example, if I have a blank sign because I can’t rent it, it’s not abandoned. If I stop even trying to rent it, then it’s abandoned.

State definition of Abandoned: A sign that hasn’t contained a message for 12 consecutive months and has not a had a message after 30d notice by department

City definition of Abandoned: Sign has been discontinued for period of 30d or more or permit has expired.

  1. Does City code supersede state in this case?
  2. Do you know what “discontinued” really means in the city code?