Brigitte Vosse, a Manhattan designer and resident of New York City’s Upper West Side, can no longer display her illuminated peace sign in the window of her top-floor condominium unit in the famed 111-year-old Ansonia building, now that a federal district court has ruled that New York City’s ban on illuminated signs extending more than 40 feet above curb level has been found content neutral and a proper time, place, and manner restriction on speech.  Although the law in question excepted flags, banners, or pennants on lots containing civic, philanthropic, educational, or religious community facilities, the federal district court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals both found that the law was content neutral.  Back at the district court, the court found that the restriction on illuminated signs above 40 feet was supported by a significant governmental purpose—aesthetic quality—and that the restriction was narrowly tailored to that interest.  The court also found that, because Vosse could display a non-illuminated version of her sign, ample alternative channels were available for conveying her message.

Here’s an article from the New York Daily News on the case.

Vosse v. City of New York, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2015 WL 7280226 (Nov. 18, 2015)

Photo of Brian J. Connolly Brian J. Connolly

Brian Connolly represents public- and private-sector clients in matters relating to zoning, planning, development entitlements and other complex regulatory issues.  Brian’s practice encompasses a broad range of land use matters including zoning compliance, rezonings and other regulatory amendments, planned-unit developments, development agreements, private covenants and restrictions, land use and zoning litigation, initiatives and referenda associated with land use approvals, and real estate transactions.  Brian additionally specializes in the First Amendment and land use issues associated with outdoor sign and advertising regulation, and fair housing matters in local planning and zoning.