Scenic Nevada loses last shot at reinstating Reno billboard limits
The Nevada Supreme Court has unanimously rejected Scenic Nevada’s final attempt to reinstate the ordinance limiting billboards in Reno.
The court in July ruled the Reno City Council had the right to amend the voter-approved ordinance capping the number of new billboards in the city because they did so more than three years after the vote.
Under state law, lawmakers can’t change a voter-approved statute for at least three years but, after that period, can make changes. The July opinion said that applies at the local level as well.
That ruling had a potentially wider impact since it would apply to all cities in the state.
The group appealed that ruling, seeking a rehearing on the merits. The high court denied rehearing, agreeing with the city the state statute cited provides definitions that apply to state statute as a whole, which doesn’t include the municipal ordinances involved in the appeal.
The ordinance approved by voters in 2000 prohibited construction of new off-premises billboards. But nine years later, the city council passed two ordinances amending that initiative to set a cap on the total number of billboards and allowing owners to remove existing billboards and “bank” a receipt allowing them to relocate or build a new display later. They also passed an ordinance allowing digital billboards.
Scenic Nevada sued but the high court ruled against the group.
By denying rehearing, the high court effectively closed the case.