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Archive for Monday, August 5, 2002

City inspectors plucking illegal signs

August 5, 2002

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Lawrence city inspectors were out Monday plucking campaign signs posted in violation of the city's sign ordinance  including some from a Republican congressional candidate.

"I noticed quite a few of them in on the way in this morning," said Barry Walthall, codes enforcement manager for the city's Neighborhood Resources Department.

"We try to get them down as fast as they put them up, but sometimes that's hard."

Among the violating signs, he said, were some put up by the campaign staff of Adam Taff, who is running in Tuesday's Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District against Jeff Colyer. The winner will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 general election.

Some Taff signs were seen Monday morning in medians and too close to the curb along Iowa Street and Sixth Street.

"We pull them up and put them in temporary storage," Walthall said. "If the owner of a sign wants it back, they can pay a $25 fee to collect it."

Walthall's department has nine inspectors, including building and zoning inspectors, who patrol the city. All are empowered to remove improper signs.

Walthall said he didn't remember who the other sign violators were, but there had been a few.

Lisa Patterson, the city's communications coordinator, said area campaigns were notified recently of the city's sign ordinance.

Here are the guidelines:

 No signs are allowed in city right-of-way or on city property. On private property, campaign workers should place signs behind sidewalks and utility poles. Otherwise, a sign should be placed within 25 feet of a structure.

 Property owners must give advance permission for sign posting. Tenants must have legal rights stated in their leases in order to place political signs at the rental property.

 Signs are to be no larger than 16 square feet.

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