Downers Grove Man Sues Over New Village Ban on Painted Wall Signs - Chicago Tribune - Liberty Justice Center

Downers Grove Man Sues Over New Village Ban on Painted Wall Signs – Chicago Tribune

In Leibundguth Storage & Van Service v. Village of Downers Grove, the Liberty Justice Center represented Leibundguth Storage & Van Service to protect their First Amendment right to free speech in advertising the business and strike down the sign-ordinance regulations.

The excerpt below is from an article by Annemarie Mannion that appeared July 23, 2015, in the Chicago Tribune.

Downers Grove business owner is hoping the painted wall signs that have advertised his business for decades will not be allowed to fade away, but whether his current signs stay or go may now depend entirely on the results of his lawsuit against the village.

The village council voted July 21 to outlaw painted wall signs throughout the village. That includes the downtown district, the downtown transitional district and the Fairview Avenue business district where they had been allowed. The newly approved changes to the sign ordinance allow properties facing the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad tracks to have walls signs, but limits their size.

Bob Peterson, owner of Leibundguth Storage & Van Service, 1301 Warren Ave., said his current signs are crucial to his business. He has one painted wall sign facing the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad Tracks and others on the front of his business. The moving company is located in an industrial zone where the signs have not been allowed since 2005.

Any decision on the Peterson lawsuit is not expected until at least late October and possibly longer, said Jeffrey Schwab, an attorney with the non-profit Liberty Justice Center, which is representing Peterson.

Schwab believes the ban on wall signs throughout the village is in reaction to the lawsuit. He doesn’t buy the village’s argument that wall signs are not aesthetically pleasing because they had been allowing them in the downtown business district, which he said is an area where the village puts a high emphasis on aesthetics.

“That’s an admission that wall signs are aesthetically pleasing,” he said.

Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.

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