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Business Owner Fighting To Keep Decades-Old Sign

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Downers Grove business has sued the village, claiming its sign ordinance is anti-business and unconstitutional.

Leibundguth Moving and Storage has been operating in Downers Grove for more than 85 years, and for most of that time, has had a 40-by-10-foot hand-painted sign on the rear wall of the building.

The village has ordered the company to paint over the sign, in part because it is too big.

"The crazy thing about it is that it's Bob's property. Bob Peterson is the owner of Leibundguth. If Bob's property, which is located in the manufacturing district, were one block over in the downtown business district, it would be grandfathered in, and permitted," said Jeff Schwab, an attorney with the Liberty Justice Center, who is representing Peterson.

The Leibundguth sign faces the Metra tracks in Downers Grove, and Peterson figures it's worth about $60,000-a-year in advertising.

The village has said the fact the sign is painted on a brick wall and faces railroad tracks also violates a 2005 sign ordinance.

Peterson's federal lawsuit claims the ordinance violates his First Amendment right to free speech.

No comment from the village attorney.


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