From the Daily News:
Two Astoria landlords are boldly advertising their displeasure with the city.
Paul Halvatzis and Steve Kesoglides are feuding with the city over billboards on their residential buildings, both located on the north side of Astoria Blvd. near the Grand Central Parkway.
In 2011, the city presented each man with a sky-high fine and informed them that the billboards — both of which dated to the World War II era — were out of compliance with the law.
The city won a ruling in 2010 that allowed the Buildings Department to crack down on longstanding signs near highways — if they didn’t have permits.
The owners are now fighting the city in Queens Supreme Court, demanding that the billboards be grandfathered for permanent compliance.
A decision is expected within the next few months, a lawyer for the owners said.
The Buildings Department went after Kesoglides — despite his permit — because billboards cannot be grandfathered into residential zones, said DOB spokesman Tony Sclafani.
The agency was empowered to issue fines after it won the 2010 billboard suit.
“That was created more than 40 years ago,” he said of the zoning. “By law, advertising signs are only allowed 10 years after a residential zone is designated.”