Tornado-damaged billboards ordered to be removed in Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. - Owners of 15 billboards damaged by a Nov. 17 tornado in Kokomo are protesting a new ordinance that requires them to be removed instead of repaired.

The owners say they will lose revenue and should be allowed to repair the billboards. But the Kokomo Tribune reports the ordinance approved in May doesn't allow that.

City attorney Lawrence McCormack says the ordinance prohibits off-premise signs such as billboards. That means the city can't issue a permit for repairs of signs that violate the measure.

Gavin Ferlic of Burkhart says his company's signs weren't in poor condition before the tornado and that the ordinance language is vague.

The ordinance requires companies that want to install billboards to receive a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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