Billboard vs. city: winner takes all

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In the case Burkhart Advertising Inc. v. City of Fort Wayne, Burkhart leased property on which to install a billboard. The 10-year lease provided that, if Burkhart were forced to remove its billboard due to condemnation, it would be entitled to damages from the governmental entity taking the property. The lease also provided that if the property's owner elected to construct a permanent building on the property, the owner had the right to terminate the lease and refund Burkhart Advertising Inc. any prepaid rents, so long as construction commenced within 90 days. (If construction did not commence within that time period, the lease gave Burkhart the right to reinstall its billboard.) The owner also had the right to cancel the lease on the occurrence of other events outside its control. Five years into the lease, the property's owner initiated plans to develop an office park on the property and applied for zoning and construction permits from the city. The city approved the p...