About eight years ago I purchased my first home. The house was built many years ago, but the zoning was changed to C-3 Commercial at some point. It is grandfathered in with the city as a residence. I am not sure if this was done as strip zoning or not, but if it matters I can try to find out. The house is in a residential neighborhood, but lies on the service road of the highway.
In the 80s, the previous owner of my property allowed a highway billboard to be placed in the side of the lot. When he sold it to me, he kept a section at the base of the sign so that he could continue to collect rent from the sign company that owns the billboard. I signed something saying that I would mow that section, and that I would grant the company ingress and egress to maintain their sign due to the lease they had with the previous owner. The thing I signed says nothing about it pertaining to future leases or extensions of the original lease. The lease that was in effect at that time expired 7 years ago, but I have never been shown any of the newer leases.
I have been trying to sell the house and am running into some issues. I have a willing and able buyer. First, one bank said they would not lend on it as a residence because of the zoning. The next bank said they wouldn't lend on it because the sign is too close to the house. The third said they won't because the sign is in my airspace. As you can see, it seems like I will be unable to sell my home due to the billboard.
I found out a couple of days ago that the person who sold me my house never obtained a legal lot-split from the city. In order to have split our lots, he should have had to go through city council to get approval. Instead, he just filed the deed at the county. Additionally, I bought an owner's title policy and the title company missed the fact that there wasn't a legal lot-split done at the time of my purchase.
So, I need some guidance.
Is there anyway I can pursue having the billboard taken down considering that the permit was granted for the entire property, not that tiny section he kept? It seems like he changed the conditions of the permit by splitting the lots without getting permission first.
Additionally, we have had multiple incidences of things falling from the sign onto our property. One item even fell on top of our house. The sign company is slow to respond to complaint about this, and does not seem to care a bit about the liability they would have if something hit me when it fell from the sign.
My main goal is to sell my house, but since that seems impossible, do I have any other options?