After months of legal wrangling, Regency Outdoor Advertising began to remove a disputed billboard from the entrance to San Pedro on Monday, according to Los Angeles city officials.
Councilman Tim McOsker, who represents Council District 15, which includes San Pedro, said in a statement residents have worked for years to take down the billboard at 427 N. Gaffey St.
“This is a great day for the community. The San Pedro residents came together, organized and persevered to beat a big, billion dollar goliath,” McOsker said. “This is something we’ve been working on for decades and I’m pleased that today we delivered it.”
The billboard is located at the end of the Harbor (110) Freeway at the entrance to San Pedro. Over the past few years, the billboard advertised an array of messages ranging from retirement community ads to “Say No to Mask Mandates.”
McOsker’s office noted it will take two days to remove the billboard.
In 2015, the city authorized the acquisition of the property in an effort to improve visibility, safety and public access to the San Pedro community by removing the billboard structure.
But the outdoor advertising company leased the space on the property for a large billboard until 2022. At the end of 2022, when the lease expired, the billboard continued to be used for advertising purposes.
The company had continuously rejected the city’s demands to remove the billboard and billboard structures, according to McOsker’s office.
City officials sent a letter on Dec. 28, 2022, requesting plans by Jan. 15 for removal of the billboard, which the company did not respond to, according to McOsker.
In February, the city served Regency Outdoor Advertising with an unlawful detainer lawsuit for failing to take down the billboard and vacate the property. Despite the city’s efforts, the company continued to advertise on this billboard, even placing an add the week they were sued, and two months after the lease contract expired, according to McOsker’s office.
On McOsker’s first day on the council in December 2022, he introduced a motion to instruct the Department of General Services to issue all necessary notices to the owner and lessee of the property to remove the billboard and vacate the property.