2022 Advocacy Alerts
ADVOCACY + POLICY ALERTS
April 27, 2022 | APA Ohio Special Report | SCOTUS Signage Decision Announced
On April 21, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Austin v. Reagan that a regulatory distinction between on-premises signs and off-premises signs (billboards) is content-neutral and therefore constitutional. This ruling should allow a huge sigh of relief for the thousands of local governments in the U.S. with sign codes that distinguish between on-premise and off-premise signs, and for the planners entrusted with devising, implementing and enforcing those codes. The ruling affirms that local communities are allowed to regulate on-premises signs differently than billboards. It also reaffirms that sign regulations not based on content are subject to less judicial oversight, and as such, allows local governments to establish sign regulations that serve a substantial government interest, such as traffic safety or aesthetics.