BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the last two weeks, Buffalo Riverworks has had a "Vinyl Outlet" sign hanging on the Buffalo River facing side of the silos. According to a Change.org petition established by the restaurant, they say this is to protect loose hanging rocks in addition to bringing in funding. The only problem is, the restaurant never got the sign approved by the City.
"They circumvented the process," Buffalo City Councilman Chris Scanlon said, "There's a process that is very clearly laid out and it's a process they have been through in the past."
According to Scanlon, the city has a requirement to have advertisements that large approved. This is to discourage too much advertising to take over the city. As Riverworks did not submit any official paperwork, their sign is illegal.
"I know they (The Department of Permits and Inspections) sent out a certified letter demanding Riverworks to take [the sign] down," Scanlon said, "and Riverworks is currently being fined $500 a day until it comes down."
Those fines will continue until the sign is either taken down, or, a permit is filed and successfully agreed to. A lawsuit could also happen if the sign does not come down. Councilman Scanlon says if the city allows this advertisement, it could lead to many more.
"If you permit one you open the floodgates for others," Scanlon said, "That's a fear of mine."
7 Eyewitness News made repeated attempts to reach Buffalo Riverworks for comment on this story and did not hear back.