Sign blitz targets Albany's right of ways - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sign blitz targets Albany's right of ways

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Signs violating Albany's new sign ordinance were ripped up Tuesday as part of a blitz by code enforcement.

Officers collected more than 125 signs, but they don't plan to stop there.

Code Enforcement Officer Anthony Donaldson pulled up signs from Albany's roadways, like a garners pulls weeds. He says, the signs are a distraction and safety hazard and they violate the city's new sign ordinance.

"This is their warning, this is the time when we are warning. When we visit these establishments on the commercial corridor they're all getting a piece of paper," said Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson.

Signs can't be posted along the right of way, but where's that? That's the area along any city street between the sidewalk and the street, but what if there's no sidewalk?

"You can look for the light poles, the cable running between the light poles, that general area from there to the street is generally the right of way," said Tilson.

That includes your water meter in a residential area. Signs in your yard are fine as long as they're far enough back from the street.

"They can have up to three of those signs in their yard," said Tilson.

Security signs don't count, but a yard sale sign on a public pole can get you in trouble. Businesses with permanent banners and signs covering more than 10 percent of the windows are also breaking the rules.

"You can have a banner for up to 14 consecutive days once every six months," said Tilson.

Director Mike Tilson says as summer approaches his officers will be out in force and in addition to the signs, they'll be fining neighbors who don't take care of their yards.

"The weeds and the grass is starting to grow, the rule in Albany is 12 inches," said Tilson.

So to keep code enforcement at bay, remember only outside furniture is allowed on a porch or in the yard.

"A reminder to everybody there's an ordinance about inside furniture, outside," said Tilson.

As code enforcement works their way around town, they're handing out flyers to businesses and residents that spell out the new sign ordinance. So far five businesses have received summons to appear in court.

    • Click HERE to see the sign ordinance for yourself.

To report a problem you can call Code Enforcement's Hotline at (229)878-3154.

Code enforcement Director Mike Tilson anticipates it will take them a year to make it around to all of the businesses in Albany to explain the new rules and make sure they're in compliance.

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