. . . According to filings with the U.S. District Court in the Western District of North Carolina, the village has acknowledged its sign control ordinance is unconstitutional and must be amended in order to protect First Amendment rights. . .
In January 2018, a group of residents formed the CLG as an organized effort to fight the [N. Highland Lake Road] project. As part of that effort, CLG members created yard signs in opposition to the project.
The village considered the group’s signs to be advertisements. In January, the village’s sign enforcement officer declared that the signs were improperly displayed in a residential district and had to be removed.
CLG responded that the ordinance’s content-based regulations violated the Constitution. The group’s concern was that while the village can put parameters on size, lighting and other physical characteristics of the signage, a government entity cannot dictate what the sign says. . .