Appeal withdrawn, Autzen O-ver legal hurdle

Appeal withdrawn, Autzen O-ver legal hurdle

EUGENE, Ore. -- A hearing on whether to allow the O on the south face of Autzen Stadium to remain in place, which was scheduled for today, has been canceled.

The resident who appealed a city official's decision to allow the O to stay in place has withdrawn her appeal, according to a letter sent to the city planning department.

The UO issued a statement Wednesday afternoon. 

The city approved a variance for the sign March 23, so the O is here to stay now that the appeal has been dropped, according to city planners.

The University of Oregon athletic department had put up the sign without the city's permission for College GameDay, a national TV program that aired a Ducks home game.

The University later sought and received an exemption to the zoning from a city official.

A University of Oregon professor appealed that exemption, saying the university should have applied for a permit or an exemption before the "O" went up.

That appeal was withdrawn Monday night.

The maximum size a sign can be, given the way Autzen Stadium is zoned by the city, is 100 square feet.

The big ol'O you see on the south side of Autzen stadium is 816 square feet, more than 8 times the permitted size.

This computer-enhanced video shows the difference between the two sizes.

Statement from the University of Oregon regarding the Autzen Stadium sign appeal

May 13, 2009

The University of Oregon learned today that McKay Moore Sohlberg, a professor in the College of Education, has withdrawn her appeal of a decision by the City of Eugene to grant a variance for the O logo affixed to the south end of Autzen Stadium.  Sohlberg’s decision to drop her appeal means that the City of Eugene planning director's decision is in effect and the university may now submit a sign permit.
Sohlberg is an esteemed member of the UO faculty.  While we may differ on the merits of this case, the University of Oregon recognizes and appreciates her right to pursue the appeals process. 

The University of Oregon always strives to be a supportive member of the Eugene-Springfield community.  We are confident that this process will result in a more positive, constructive and meaningful relationship between the UO and its neighbors.

Melinda Grier
General Counsel to the University of Oregon