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Boardman cracks down on illegal signage

Published: Sat, May 24, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Kalea Hall



With summer around the corner, the onset of temporary signs appearing in the township is another problem the zoning department handles.

Signs for businesses, garage sales, etc., pop up on street corners, along the roadways and on utility poles — all of which are not allowed in the township.

“You are only supposed to put the sign on your own property, not on utility poles or [street] corners, because that is government property,” said Sarah Gartland, township zoning inspector.

Gartland’s office has a list of rules for signs, which she says needs to be updated to regulate digital signs. What needs to be addressed is how often the signs change and how bright they are because they could be distracting to drivers.

Basic paper signs also can be distracting to drivers, she added.

“They become litter and a distraction,” Gartland said.

The zoning department collects signs, and those who put them up may come get them from the office, but oftentimes they end up thrown away.

For garage sales or yard sales, residents are allowed to have a sign up on their property for three days after the sale is over. The sign size is 4 square feet, and a permit is not needed for garage-sale signs.

Churches, libraries and parks are allowed to have larger temporary signs up to 60 square feet, and they may place them on their property wherever they want for 10 days before the event they’re advertising.

Businesses are allowed to have banners up to 60 square feet affixed to the building itself. Any banner out by the road or other signs are considered distractions and will be removed, Gartland said.

Businesses operated at home are allowed to have a sign on the property if permitted by zoning.

Even signs on a box truck parked by the road are considered a violation.

“If it is in the right of way, we just remove them,” Gartland said.

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