Sign ordinance seeks to keep clutter out of rights of way

Apr. 18, 2014 @ 08:11 PM

 

Beginning this month, Henderson residents will be seeing fewer signs posted around busy intersections.

The Henderson City Council voted unanimously in February to approve a new city ordinance, ordinance 14-18, that would enable the town to fine groups and individuals who place signs within a street right of way, in a public place or on public property.

The ordinance, which does not apply to private property, went into effect April 1.

Violators face a $50 penalty.

But Planning Director Erris Dunston said her department won’t immediately issue a penalty during the first couple months.

“We have tried to extend an arm of courtesy; we pick up the phone and ask if they could remove the sign,” she said. “So far that has worked OK. We tried not to slap people with a fine if they didn’t know about it.”

Dunston said the ordinance was proposed as an effort to clean up the rights of way.

“Rights of way would be packed with signs, hundreds of them,” she said. “We even went to the effort of picking up signs and calling businesses and asking them to remove the signs, and nothing happened.”

Dunston said there was already a city ordinance that prohibits off-premise advertisements, but that did not give the city authority to issue fines.

Garry Daeke, a member of city council, said he favored the ordinance.

“I think, overall, it’s going to be positive,” he said.

So far, he said, he has received few complaints.

“I’m kind of surprised because I would think that is one thing people would be upset about,” he said.

Still, the council can make amendments if necessary.

“If we get many complaints, and we over-regulated, we can look at it again,” he said. “We are always open to that. But I think the way we set it up is a good way to start.”

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.

 

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

The following is the text of the ordinance:

“Sec. 10-33.3. Signs Within Rights of Way and in Public Places.

No person or entity shall place any sign within a street right of way or in a public place or on public property except in compliance with the provisions of this City Code and in compliance with Section 405.3 of the City’s Zoning Code. Any sign placed in violation of said Codes may be removed and the persons or entities responsible for placing said sign in the street’s right of way or in public places or on public property can be charged with a civil penalty of $50 per sign (which civil penalty shall not be deemed waived by the removal of the sign once it is placed in the inappropriate place).”

 

Section 2. That a new subparagraph be added to the Zoning Code designated as Section 405.3 and reading as follows: “405.3. No person or entity shall place any sign within a street right of way or in a public place or on public property except in compliance with the provisions of the City Code unless a zoning permit is granted for the same.”