The signs are seen everywhere

Published 9:41 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

A Brookhaven official is asking for cooperation with the city’s sign ordinance.

Political signs — or any signs— cannot be placed on the public rights-of-way, said Building Inspector David Fearn.

“We’re having an issue picking up signs,” said Fearn said. “There are several signs that are in violation of the sign ordinance. Anything that’s in the wrong spot is fair game for me to pick up.”

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According to Fearn, they are having most of their issues on major streets such as Brookway Boulevard and Hwy. 51.

“Signs in public rights-of-way, which are not city, county, state or federal regulatory signs are prohibited,” Fearn said.  “In some cases the signs can block someone’s view of traffic and that’s illegal.”

Also, signs are prohibited in the median.

Fearn said he picks up four signs a week on average. He said that most people call and he lets them know exactly where they can put their sign. However there are some people who don’t listen and put the signs up anyway, he said.

“I really don’t go looking for signs unless someone calls and complains,” said Fearn. “The big deal is the way it looks. If we allowed signs anywhere, our streets aren’t going to look as well kept and things will get cluttered. It’s not the image that we want Brookhaven to have.”

By law, signs are subject to approval by the city building inspector. The inspector is also responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

Any person violating any provision of this ordinance can be fined not less than $50 and not more than $200. They will also be responsible for court costs for each offense.

Also, the offense can be interpreted per sign placed illegally. That means during an election season, candidates could face hefty fines, Fearn said.

“Generally, we’re not going to take anyone to court unless they’re a repeat offender, or just outrageous about the sign,” Fearn said. “We’re doing our job, we just want people to know where signs can be located.”

Here are Fearns’ five rules:

• No signs on powerpoles.

• No signs in the grass between a sidewalk and a city street.

• No sidewalk? The sign has to be on the house side of the ditch.

• No sidewalk or ditch? The sign has to be on the house side of the power line.

• No signs in the planters on the sidewalks in the central business district downtown. That’s city right-of-way.

For more information on where to place signs, contact the Brookhaven City Inspector’s office at 601-833-7766.