City's hands are tied regarding billboards

CITY HALL — City officials this week said there’s little they can do about the large billboards on the hillside above the Ventura (134) and Glendale (2) freeways beyond working with their counterparts in Los Angeles, which has jurisdiction over the land.

Residents have in recent weeks fired off in letters to the editor and in e-mails to the City Council complaining about the large real estate billboards on the hillsides above the freeway juncture near Eagle Rock.

Residents used terms ranging from “offensive” to “despicable” to describe the billboards advertising a real estate agent, and some questioned why the signs had been permitted in the first place.

Glendale officials this week said the signs are in Los Angeles, where they are allowed under city codes.

“We wanted to make it clear that these are not in Glendale. They are in L.A,” said Community Development Director Hassan Haghani. “We have contacted them, and they’ve told us that their regulations do not disallow these.”

In Glendale, an ordinance prohibits new billboards throughout the city, and officials have worked to remove more than 70 existing signs.

Beyond that, Councilman Dave Weaver said there is little the city can do.

“If they choose to allow the signs on the hill, take it up with the city of L.A.,” he said.

Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said he agrees with residents that the signs are out of place and plans to contact Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar — who represents the Eagle Rock area — to see if the signs can be removed.

Najarian and Huizar serve together on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors.

Representatives for Huizar, who is waging a re-election campaign, did not respond to requests for comment.

“There is legal and then there is acceptable,” Najarian said.

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