When the billboard next to Gannon Slough bridge on Highway 101 was found cut down on Jan. 10, that incident was considered to be a crime. When it was found rebuilt the next morning, the City of Arcata said it had violated the city building code.
Arcata Community Development Director Larry Oetker said that the owners of the billboard -- CBS Outdoor Advertising -- needed to apply for a building permit before the sign could be rebuilt as it stands within city limits.
”On Friday afternoon, we posted a courtesy notice on the billboard that said that they needed to get a building permit before it was repaired,” Oetker said. “A building official went by on Saturday morning and found that it was already put back up.”
In response, Oetker said they sent a letter to the Vice President of CBS Outdoor Advertising on Monday stating that they must submit a building permit application by Jan. 24 or face legal consequences.
”Failure to correct the violation(s) may cause the City to begin enforcement proceedings which could incur penalty fees which are above and beyond any permit fees,” the letter read.
Arcata Police Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler said a representative from the billboard's advertised business contacted them last weekend and filed a report. As has been the issue with Caltrans and other local governments, Dokweiler said they are still trying to find out who owns the land the billboard is placed on.
”We're still trying to do our homework,” he said. “Ultimately, if it's not in our jurisdiction, we'll forward it to the appropriate agency.”