Circuit court rules in favor of Epic in billboard regulation lawsuit

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

A decade-long battle over the legality of billboards in Rapid City added a new chapter Tuesday in court.

After a proposed settlement with Epic Outdoor Advertising regarding the city’s billboard ordinances fell through in July, the Seventh Circuit Court ruled in favor of the advertising company Tuesday.

The lawsuit centered around a handful of Epic's signs that have run full motion video since 2005, in line with Ordinance 4030.

In 2012, the city council amended the sign code to ban animation and full motion video on signs. However, Epic continued to do so, adhering to the previous ordinance.

Tuesday, Circuit Judge Matthew Brown's ruling said Rapid City's Zoning Board had jurisdiction over the matter, but overstepped its authority by retroactively applying a zoning regulation to a use that was previously considered lawful.

City Attorney Joel Landeen's office issued a statement on the decision late Tuesday. He said the city will thoroughly review the court's decision to determine it's options in the case and consult with the city council for its decision on moving forward.

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