Posted by: Patricia Salkin | August 14, 2016

MO Appeals Court Finds Sign Could Not Be “Deemed Abandoned” Until 30-Day Period of Notice Had Passed and Deficiencies Had Not Been Cured

Claudia Lee & Associates (CLA) owns an outdoor advertising sign located at 8906 Wornall Road in Kansas City. The sign was installed in 2005 in a parking lot of a commercial establishment. One restriction in the Kansas City Zoning and Development Code is that, if a legal nonconforming outdoor advertising sign remains blank, as defined by the Code, for a continuous period of ninety days, that sign is deemed abandoned and, therefore, loses its legal nonconforming sign status. CLA appealed from the circuit court’s judgment in favor of the Kansas City, and reversing the BZA’s determination that CLA abandoned the north face of its outdoor advertising sign located at 8906 Wornall in Kansas City, thereby requiring its removal.

On appeal, CLA contended that the BZA erred in upholding the City’s determination that CLA was in violation of the Code and ordering immediate removal of CLA’s sign because the ordinance relied upon by the City provides for a thirty-day cure period that CLA was not given. The court agreed, finding that, pursuant to 88–445–14–B(7)(c)(1), a sign cannot be “deemed abandoned” until the sign owner has failed for thirty days after written notice to abate deficiencies set forth in Section 88–445–14.

CLA next alleged that it forwarded, and BZA received, CLA’s open records request and BZA failed to respond to the request within three days. However, upon review of the record the court could not find a purposeful violation allegation in CLA’s averment that the “BZA/City Planning failed to timely respond to KLS’s proper sunshine request, and on belief, the BZA/City Planning failed to provide all of the documents requested, and for which CLA was prosecuted.” Moreover, the court found this claim was moot as CLA ultimately received the records requested in its Chapter 610 request.

Claudia Lee & Assoc. v Kansas City Board of Zoning Appeals, 489 SW 3d 802 (MO App. 5/31/2016)

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