Monday, January 29, 2007

Code enforcement officers educating the public to remove garage-sale signs -- or get fined

REMOVING SIGNS: Several of us are incredulous about the new restrictions on posting signs for yard sales, houses for rent/sale, open houses, etc. A uniformed officer of the city visited a yard sale I had with two of the signs I had put up, and informed me it is illegal to post signs anywhere except private property and that fines of $35 per sign would be imposed. When I dutifully went out to collect the signs I had posted I saw dozens of similar ones and in the ensuing weekends have seen them all over town. Clearly people should be more conscientious about removing signs after their events but it is inconceivable that the city can impose — much less enforce — punishment of this common and innocuous custom on citizens. Don’t they have anything to DO (car thefts, vandalism, etc.) but send personnel out to patrol yard sales?
- Lynn

ANSWER: Fines for illegal signs were approved by Colorado Springs City Council and are enforced by code enforcement officers who are part of the police department. Code enforcement is their job and they don’t investigate car thefts or vandalism, murders or ticket speeders.

Code enforcement officer Ken Lewis said the sign ordinances have been in place for years. "The big problem is that after the sale people don’t take the signs down, they turn into litter and you’ll see them flying down the street. People can have garage sale signs but only on private property and not attached to utility poles, stop signs, bridge railings or any other city property. If you look at some of the utility poles there are nails and staples all over them and this can cause a problem for utilities workers who have to climb the poles.”

Lewis said his officers could have removed your garage-sale signs and thrown them away but were “doing you a favor by taking your signs to you and explaining the code. We’re trying to educate people about the sign ordinances as fairly as we can.” In addition, several volunteers help out by going out to remove left-behind signs so Lewis’ officers can do other code enforcement.


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