This past summer, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that a billboard company’s challenge to a billboard restriction in Bellwood, Illinois was mooted by the fact that the company lost its lease on the property that it intended to construct a billboard. The court affirmed dismissal of the company’s First Amendment, equal protection, and antitrust claims.
In 2005, Paramount Media obtained leasehold rights to a property in the village abutting I-290, a high-traffic interstate corridor outside of Chicago. Although it sought the necessary state permits for a billboard, it failed to seek permits from the village. In 2009, the village amended its sign code to prohibit new billboards. The village later amended the code again to allow billboards on village-owned property. Paramount then sought to lease village-owned property along the interstate, but was rebuked, as the village had leased its property to another billboard company.