TXDOT Says Marfa Playboy Sign is Illegal, Must Come Down - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

TXDOT Says Marfa Playboy Sign is Illegal, Must Come Down

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By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MARFA - Just weeks after going up, the controversial Playboy logo in Marfa continues to cause controversy. But now a state agency said that sign is illegal and it has to come down, but the reason why just might surprise you.

"I think it's terrible," Joseph Lapinsk, said.

"I was shocked at first," another resident said.

"I thought it was strange and funny," Ana Catano said.

If you're driving through Marfa, it's almost impossible to miss.

The Playboy bunny logo was put up just a few weeks ago. Some people call it art but others say it's offensive. After a complaint was made, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) now says it's illegal.

Lineaus Lorette is the man behind that complaint.

"Several neighbors came and they were really offended by the sign and they asked me to do something," Lorette said. "They don't think it's a positive image of Marfa."

Playboy Enterprises put up their logo in an attempt to revamp their image through art and culture, but not everyone agreed.

"I think maybe people are disturbed by what the sign represents," Catano said.

"Every kid in the universe is gonna wanna know what it's about," Lapinski said.

Lorette said he's familiar with advertising laws so he went to TXDOT and filed a complaint after noticing the bunny didn't have a permit number anywhere around it.

"It's a sign, it's not art. It's a trademarked logo," Lorette said. "If you tried to put that bunny on the side of your building, you'd be sued."

TXDOT looked into the complaint and sure enough, they agreed the sign is illegal.

In a statement, the agency said it's, "because the landowner doesn't have a Texas License for Outdoor Advertising and a specific permit application for the sign was not submitted."

But that's not all. The agency also said the location where the sign has been placed does not qualify for a permit.

So now the bunny has to come down. For some, it's good news.

"This is a nice beautiful place," Lapinski said. "You don't have to push your advertising on us."

But others didn't see a problem with it.

"For me, it doesn't hurt," Richard Vasquez said. "It'll bring more people to see it, that's all."

"We can't really see it from here so I won't miss it," another resident said.

NewsWest 9 tried contacting Playboy for a comment but our calls were not returned.

TXDOT said the landowner has 45 days to remove the sign.