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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.


1southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

That will be a huge task to remove signs...money could be spent elsewhere.

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2Photoman(1249 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Local enforcement of signage is very important to our quality of life and to any business wishing to locate to our area. When these laws are not enforced you will soon find yourself thinking that you are in another nation. These zoning laws also must be vigorously enforced to protect our property values. Personally, I find the digital signs offensive and distracting.

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3questionreality(736 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Comical. They didn't enforce the regulations for a year and now they're on it. Like trying to put the pig back in the barnyard after letting it out long ago.

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4republicanRick(1741 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually trying to enforce some standards for our neighborhoods? Way past due to clean the area. Hope they follow through with this long overdue action.

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5questionreality(736 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

"Federal legislation affecting billboard use of electronic signs requires only that messages be changed at “reasonable intervals.” Moreover, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in a report on its website reviewing safety information compiled since the 1980 report, has concluded that there is no adverse safety impact from the use of EMD signs:


The most recent study was performed in 2003 by Tantala Consulting Engineers, available through the U.S. Sign Council at http://www.ussc.org/publications.html
also concluding based on field studies that EMD signs do not adversely affect traffic safety. Many small businesses using one-line EMD displays are only capable of displaying a few characters at one time on the display, changing frequently, which takes virtually no time for a driver to absorb in short glances. These signs have likewise not proven to be a safety concern, despite many years of use."

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6questionreality(736 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

And the big question izzzzzzz: Will they go after Darnell's A-Frame sign on Southern near McClurg?

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