8:51 AM PST, November 20, 2012
The roving advertising vans that were kicked out of Los Angeles and into Burbank may have to hit the road once again.
The Burbank City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider amending the city’s municipal code to ban mobile advertising vehicles. State law allows cities to regulate the vehicles provided their primary purpose is advertising.
The issue came to the forefront last month after brightly colored vans advertising topless maid services for $99 and hour-long Thai massages for $40 infiltrated Burbank streets, peeving local residents.
At the time, Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes called the vehicles “not attractive” and said they were likely pushed into the area by a ban in Los Angeles.
But in May, Hot Topless Maids filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Los Angeles law, alleging that the “irrational government interference” restricts “otherwise lawful and protected speech and commercial speech activity within the city.”
Burbank officials noted that any ordinance would need to be carefully crafted so as not to violate the 1st Amendment, such as regulating the content of the advertisments, according to a city staff report.
The City Council will take up the matter during its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News