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02/09/88 National Advertising v. the Village of Downers

February 9, 1988

NATIONAL ADVERTISING COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS (OPUS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT; LA SALLE NATIONAL BANK, INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT). -- OUTDOOR ADVERTISING

ASSOCIATES, L.P., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT (PATRICK MEDIA



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Group,

Inc.,

Intervenor and, Plaintiff-Appellee)

Nos. 2-87-0184, 2-87-0412 cons.

519 N.E.2d 502, 166 Ill. App. 3d 58, 116 Ill. Dec. 610 1988.IL.157

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. S. Bruce Scidmore, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE NASH delivered the opinion of the court. REINHARD and WOODWARD, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE NASH

In these consolidated cases defendant, Village of Downers Grove, seeks reversal of declaratory judgments entered in favor of plaintiffs, National Advertising Company and Outdoor Advertising Associates, which found that the State statute regulating outdoor commercial advertising signs preempts the more restrictive regulation of such signs by a municipality.

At issue in these cases is the Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 121, par. 501 et seq.) and article IX of the zoning ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, a home rule unit.

The plaintiffs in these causes (hereinafter referred to as the advertisers) are engaged in the business of advertising through the use of outdoor signs. The advertisers sought to construct or maintain outdoor signs adjoining a Federal-aid primary highway within Downers Grove, but were prevented from doing so because the proposed signs were larger in size than permitted by the village sign ordinance. The advertisers, and The Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois in its amicus curiae brief, contend that the Illinois Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971 prohibits a municipality from enacting stricter limitations on highway signs than those set forth in the Act. Defendant, the Village of Downers Grove, and the Du Page Mayors and Managers Conference, Inc., in their amicus curiae brief, contend that the Highway Advertising Control Act does not preempt stricter regulation of outdoor advertising signs by municipalities. The trial court found in each case that the State statute preempted local regulations which were inconsistent with it, and these appeals followed.

We first note that the Illinois Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971 was adopted by the Illinois legislature pursuant to the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (23 U.S.C. § 131 et seq. (1970)), which is sometimes referred to as the Lady Bird Bill, and was enacted by Congress for the express purpose of controlling outdoor advertising signs near highways. (23 U.S.C. § 131(a) (1970).) The Federal act required that the States enact legislation regulating outdoor advertising signs in order to preserve Federal funding for State highways.

The pertinent provisions of the Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971, for purposes of this appeal, are sections 1, 6, 6.01, 6.02, 6.03, and 7 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 121, pars. 501, 506, 506.01, ...


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