249 U.S. 269 (2013), St. Louis Poster Advertising Company v. City of St. Louis

Citation249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599
Party NameSt. Louis Poster Advertising Company v. City of St. Louis
Case DateMarch 24, 1919
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 269

249 U.S. 269 (2013)

39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599

St. Louis Poster Advertising Company

v.

City of St. Louis

United States Supreme Court

March 24, 1919

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT

OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI

A city ordinance allowing no billboard of 25 square feet or more to be put up without a permit, and none to extend more than 14 feet high above ground, requiring an open space of 4 feet between the lower edge and the ground, forbidding an approach of nearer than 6 feet to any building or to the side of any lot than 2 feet to any other

Page 270

billboard or 15 feet to the street, requiring conformity to the building line, limiting billboard in area to 500 square feet, and exacting a permit fee of one dollar for every 5 lineal feet held within the police power. P. 274. Cusack Co. v. Chicago, 242 U.S. 526.

Making billboard safe against wind and fire may not exempt them from the power of restriction or prohibition. Id.

Such regulations may not improperly include incidental and relatively trifling requirements founded in part, at least, on aesthetic reasons such as a requirement of conformity to a building line. Id.

A high tax imposed by a city on billboards for the purpose of discouraging them is not objectionable under the Constitution. Id.

It is not an answer to an ordinance regulating the size, etc., of billboards that they are on land leased or belonging to their owner, or that their owner has contracted ahead to maintain advertisements upon them, or that the size of board allowed is too small for standard posters and that these cannot be changed without affecting the business disastrously. Id.

195 S.W. 717 affirmed.

The cases are stated in the opinion.

Page 272

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

The first mentioned of these cases was brought by the plaintiff in error in a State Court of Missouri to prevent the City of St. Louis and its officials from enforcing an ordinance regulating the erection of billboards on the ground that the ordinance is contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment in various respects. The suit was begun on March 21, 1914, and on May 22, 1917, a judgment of that Court dismissing it upon demurrer was affirmed by the supreme court of the state. 195 S.W. 717.

Page 273

The other case was begun a little earlier, on January 30, 1914, in the district court of the United States by a bill in equity substantially to the same effect as in the state case. The bill was dismissed upon motion on February 29, 1914. The two cases appear to have proceeded to a conclusion without any reference to each other, but, as they involve the same parties and the same questions, they have been argued as one case here.

The ordinance complained of is number 22,022, passed on April 7, 1905. It allows no billboard of twenty-five square feet or...

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110 practice notes
  • 129 A.2d 363 (Md. 1957), 102, Grant v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • February 14, 1957
    ...472; Packer Corporation v. State of Utah, 285 U.S. 105, 52 S.Ct. 273, 76 L.Ed. 643; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. City of St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599; Kelbro, Inc., v. Myrick, 113 Vt. 64, 30 A.2d 527; General Outdoor Advertising Co. v. Department of Public Work......
  • 137 A.2d 310 (Pa. 1958), 2793, Appeal of Hertrick
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 6, 1958
    ...Co., 272 U.S. 365, 47 S.Ct. 114; Penna. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 43 S.Ct. 158; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274; Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 33 S.Ct. 76.": Lord Appeal, 368 Pa. 121, 125-126, 81 A.2d 533. These rights and principles......
  • 67 Pa. D. & C.2d 1 (Pa.Com.pl. 1974), 2081, Boyd Appeal
    • United States
    • August 27, 1974
    ...Co., 272 U.S. 365, 47 S.Ct. 114; Penna. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 43 S.Ct. 158; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274; Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 33 S.Ct. 76. " Restrictions imposed by zoning ordinances are, however, in derogation of th......
  • 29 F.Supp. 3 (S.D.Cal. 1939), 494, Buxbom v. City of Riverside
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Southern District of California
    • September 23, 1939
    ...1917, 242 U.S. 526, 37 S.Ct. 190, 61 L.Ed. 472, L.R.A.1918A, 136, Ann.Cas.1917C, 594; St. Louis Poster Adv. Co. v. St. Louis, 1919, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599); and even solicitation of custom or patronage in railroad stations or on public streets in front of them may be prohi......
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109 cases
  • 129 A.2d 363 (Md. 1957), 102, Grant v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • February 14, 1957
    ...472; Packer Corporation v. State of Utah, 285 U.S. 105, 52 S.Ct. 273, 76 L.Ed. 643; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. City of St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599; Kelbro, Inc., v. Myrick, 113 Vt. 64, 30 A.2d 527; General Outdoor Advertising Co. v. Department of Public Work......
  • 137 A.2d 310 (Pa. 1958), 2793, Appeal of Hertrick
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 6, 1958
    ...Co., 272 U.S. 365, 47 S.Ct. 114; Penna. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 43 S.Ct. 158; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274; Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 33 S.Ct. 76.": Lord Appeal, 368 Pa. 121, 125-126, 81 A.2d 533. These rights and principles......
  • 67 Pa. D. & C.2d 1 (Pa.Com.pl. 1974), 2081, Boyd Appeal
    • United States
    • August 27, 1974
    ...Co., 272 U.S. 365, 47 S.Ct. 114; Penna. Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 43 S.Ct. 158; St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274; Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 33 S.Ct. 76. " Restrictions imposed by zoning ordinances are, however, in derogation of th......
  • 29 F.Supp. 3 (S.D.Cal. 1939), 494, Buxbom v. City of Riverside
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Southern District of California
    • September 23, 1939
    ...1917, 242 U.S. 526, 37 S.Ct. 190, 61 L.Ed. 472, L.R.A.1918A, 136, Ann.Cas.1917C, 594; St. Louis Poster Adv. Co. v. St. Louis, 1919, 249 U.S. 269, 39 S.Ct. 274, 63 L.Ed. 599); and even solicitation of custom or patronage in railroad stations or on public streets in front of them may be prohi......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The delicate art of balance - ruminations on change and expectancy in local land use.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 38 Nbr. 3, March 1997
    • March 1, 1997
    ...of involvement in this area. See, e.g., Packer Corp. v. Utah, 285 U.S. 105 (1932); St. Louis Poster Adver. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269 (1919); Thomas Cusack Co. v. City of Chicago, 242 U.S. 526 (1917). (161.) 453 U.S. 490 (1981). (162.) See id. at 493. (163.) See id. at 494. (164......