Illegal signs are still an issue

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Yard sale signs, banners are common problems

By Stephen Lega

With the yard sale season already underway, the Lebanon Planning and Zoning Commission wants to remind people they should follow the city's signage ordinance.

Lebanon building inspector John Thompson, who enforces the sign ordinance, said some sign problems are more common than others, such as people putting signs on telephone and utility poles.

"That's still illegal for any sign on a pole, whatever it is," Thompson said. "That's a city ordinance as well as a KU and phone company regulation."

The telephone and utility companies do not allow anything on their poles that doesn't belong to them, according to Thompson.

"Yard sales are the biggest thing I have on poles," he said.

According to the city ordinance, yard and garage sale signs can be up to eight square feet and must follow visibility restrictions at intersections in the city's zoning ordinance. These signs may only be posted in the yard of the property where the sale will be held, and they should not be posted more than seven days before those sales.

Another common problem are banners.

Businesses are allowed to hang banners on their property up to four times a year to announce events such as grand openings, special events or sales. Banners can be up to 40 square feet and can hang for up to 14 days.

Any advertisement on any banner may not exceed 25 percent of the total area.

Temporary signs for events by civic, educational, philanthropic, or religious organizations may be posted on private property for up to 21 days before such event. Signs should be removed within three days after the event, according to the city ordinance.

"Streamers, tag signs, any sidewalk signs, banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, spinners, beacons, searchlights, or similar devices" are not allowed to be attached to any sign without permission from the planning and zoning commission, according to the ordinance.

Violations of the city sign ordinance can lead to fines of up to $500, and each day a sign is in violation of the ordinance constitutes a separate offense, according to city ordinances.

However, Thompson added that it's not his intent to punish people for ordinance violations.

"That's not what we're after at all," he said. "We just don't want the illegal signs around."

For more information about the city's signage standards, visit Thompson's office at 115 S. Proctor Knott Avenue or call (270) 692-6272.