Agenda Item Title:
Authorize Mayor & Finance Officer to Sign Settlement Agreement Between the City of Rapid City and Epic Outdoor Advertising
Legal & Finance Committee
Origination Meeting Date:
Stage 2 Group Name:
Stage 2 Meeting Date:
City Council Hearing Date:
Epic Outdoor Advertising
Joel Landeen, City Attorney
Agenda Item Summary:
This item was continued from the Council’s June 19th meeting. Since that time I have been working with Epic’s counsel to see if we could address the issues that caused the settlement to be continued. During those discussions, it has become apparent that Epic intends to litigate the legality of the City’s sign credit system at some point in the future. Since the legality of sign credits is one of Epic’s current claims it was my opinion the settlement would bar any such lawsuit. Epic’s concern is that it is likely they will run out of sign credits at some point in the not so distant future and if they forever waive any right to litigate the legality of sign credits they will be left with no options when they run out of sign credits. From the City’s perspective, it does not make sense to provide valuable concessions to a party to resolve a lawsuit if it does not prevent them from re-litigating the same issues in the future. Essentially, Epic is getting two larger billboards along the interstate and the removal of the “public purpose” stipulation on four of its billboards and can still refile the primary claim we are trying to settle after 3 years. The draft agreement which has been attached was drafted by Epic’s attorney and does not have the support of City staff. Epic has made clear that the language City staff objects to is essential to the agreement and if the Council were to approve a different version which removed this language they would not agree to it.
Funding Source & Fiscal Impact (if applicable):
Funding Source & Fiscal Impact Notes:
None. There is no money exchanging hands.
City Council Recommendation Action:
City Council Options:
If you approve the settlement agreement staff will begin working on the ordinance amendments necessary to fulfill the City’s commitments. Once the ordinance amendments are approved and the permits for the two billboard identified are granted the lawsuits will be dismissed. If you reject the settlement the parties will begin to move the two legal cases forward.