Companies that put up huge “supergraphics” on buildings and the building owners who allow the gigantic illegal signs could be fined $2,500 a day under a new plan announced today by Los Angeles City Council Member Jack Weiss.

“These monster signs turn buildings into billboards,” said Weiss at a press conference today that was held in front of the huge Gap “supergraphic” plastered along the side of a bank building on the corner of Pico Boulevard and Overland. “It is illegal. I want to streamline and punish them…At the end of the day the hammer isn't big enough.”

A 2002 city law bans all new billboards in Los Angeles. The “supergraphic” popped up last year according to billboard activist Dennis Hathaway.

“It is still there getting revenue,” said Hathaway.

Weiss, who will introduce a motion Friday asking the City Attorney's Office to draft an ordinance to impose the fine, said he was aware of at least three dozen illegal “supergraphics” in Los Angeles. Hathaway said he has lodged complaints with building inspectors against at least 12. Only one has been removed.

Weiss' announcement came three days after Los Angeles City Council members tentatively voted on a proposal that would place two 76-foot-tall billboards next to the 10 Freeway. Weiss was the only council member who voted against the freeway plan.

Photos by Christine Pelisek

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