Denial of permit for sign within 500 feet of already-permitted sign on the same side of highway upheld.

Topic: Outdoor Advertising, Decided by: Judge Schroer 
Docket Number: 1726721 , Decision Date: August 25, 2017 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An applicant for an outdoor advertising sign challenged the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (“GDOT’s”) denial of his application for a permit to erect a sign alongside State Route 20 because the proposed sign would be within 500 feet of a sign permitted to Georgia 400, which was forbidden under Georgia law.  Citing other signs purportedly within 500 feet of each other, the applicant further argued that GDOT’s action violated the Equal Protection Clause.  The Court ruled that, as both signs were within 660 feet of Georgia 400, they were “adjacent to” and “on the same side of” the road for purposes of applying the statute, and thus could not be within 500 feet of each other.  Further, the Court held that GDOT’s unequal application of the facially neutral statute did constitute an equal protection violation.

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