Friday, June 4, 2010

There Is Relief For Annoying Signs by Domenick Rafter - Queens Tribune

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Those ugly signs often spotted nailed to telephone poles and lampposts throughout the borough advertising such services as “Refinance your Homes,” “Sell Your Home Fast!” and “Get Rid Of Insects,” are illegal and one neighborhood civic group is taking them on.

After spotting signs along residential streets in Woodhaven, the Woodhaven Residents Block Association took action and discovered the signs are actually illegal. The NYC Department of Sanitation’s code specifically bans the posting or painting any type of printed material on any type of public property, including fences, telephone poles, and traffic lights.

The WRBA is calling on residents in Woodhaven to contact them if they see signs on residential streets. To report signs along Jamaica Avenue, residents should call the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation.

“The intent is not to routinely bust people and cause them to pay large fines. It may be that they are unaware of the law,” said Ed Wendell, WRBA President on his blog Project Woodhaven. “The WRBA is doing them a favor by warning them.”

WRBA spokesman and Community Board 9 member Alex Blenkinsopp said one company who has been posting signs in Woodhaven has been put on notice and will be again before the WRBA reports them to the city.

“It looks like they took down some of the signs, but not all of them,” Blenkinsopp said. “We’ve had partial success. We will contact them one more time and then report them to our council members and the Department of Sanitation.”

According to the law, each sign is a separate violation and the first offense is a fine of $75-$200. Each subsequent offense carries a fine of between $150 and $300. That means someone with 10 signs could face fines of up to $2,900, plus the cost of taking the signs down.

Similar problems with signs have been reported elsewhere in the borough, most recently in Flushing, Richmond Hill, and Woodside.. Residents in those neighborhoods can report the signs to the local community board or city councilmember’s office or take the signs down themselves. Blenkinsopp noted it was important that anyone who reports the signs take pictures; otherwise fines could not be imposed.