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Giant billboard fuels controversy in Ferndale

Posted at 5:57 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 17:57:56-04

FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Some Ferndale citizens are in an intense feud with city leaders over a gigantic billboard recently put up.

The billboard is drawing sharp criticism from those who call it an “eyesore.”

Neighbors tell us city leaders in Ferndale made a huge mistake, allowing the giant billboard to be put up near I-696 at 10 Mile Rd. & Hilton Rd.

“It’s really ugly & huge. It ruins the view, & a lot of people live over here,” says Larry Korman.

So far, the owner of the gas station, who’s property it sits on isn’t commenting. The city of Ferndale could not provide any figures on what it cost nor if there is a financial payoff for the city.

“We are aware of the complaints, and have empathy for those you talked to,” says Director of Community & Economic Development Jordan Twardy.

He adds that a lawsuit was filed by the billboard community who alleged they had a legal right to build it as freedom of speech.

“The city settled to avoid a costly litigation,” says Twardy.

As part of the deal, another billboard in the city was taken down. Nonetheless, advertising hasn’t even started with the new one because the billboard is not in compliance with the shape agreed upon according to the city.

Citizens tell us the only silver lining is that video images won’t be allowed on the billboard. They do however, plan to keep speaking out against it.