Compliance Issues: The Supreme Court’s Confusing Messages to Municipalities
Local municipalities are vested with the power to enact zoning ordinances that prohibit signs and flags in residential areas for aesthetic purposes. This power directly competes with an individual’s constitutional right to use private property to express their views. The United States Supreme Court recently struck a balance for this conflict in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit applied this test in Willson v. City of Bel-Nor, Missouri and demonstrated the impracticability of the approach the Supreme Court created for municipalities when drafting ordinances.