IT’S THE LAW: REMOVAL OF SIGNS ON RIGHT OF WAY
Posted on: October 30, 2013
LAUREL, MS– Officials of the City of Laurel are cautioning businesses and individuals not to place signs on rights-of-way. Posting signs, including temporary signs, promoting special events, charity fundraisers, and sales in the public rights-of-way is in violation of city ordinance. Signs that are found on rights-of-way will be removed by Laurel maintenance crews immediately and subject to fines.
Laurel city ordinance 602.04.05 states that “any sign or any type of advertising material, including political signs, written or affixed upon any tree, bush, shrubbery, utility pole, traffic sign, fence or street marker on public rights-of-way are strictly prohibited.”
Likewise, Mississippi law stipulates that the Department of Transportation is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to the traveling public. Any sign along Mississippi’s state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by MDOT to be within the right-of-way. This includes signs on state highways such as highways 11, 15 and 84.
“Typically we find signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates on city rights-of-ways adjacent to our roads. None of those types of signs are allowed and will be removed by city personnel with possibly a fine,” said CAO Dennis Keveryn.
City officials have received several complaints in the last few weeks about signs in the rights-of-way. Most are posted in planter strips, the landscaped area between a street curb and the sidewalk. Signs are not allowed in planter strips, but must be placed on private property with the consent of the property’s occupant. Signs are also prohibited on utility poles, trees, rocks and other natural features.
City staff notifies sign owners or those who post the signs about city regulations when they receive complaints, asking that the signs be moved. Businesses and or individuals who place signs on public rights-of-way illegally can be fined $100.00 per sign for the first offense. On the second offense, the fine is $100.00 per day per sign.
To report signs that may be posted in the wrong place, please call the Laurel Inspection Department at 601-428-6438.
City of Laurel, Office of Public Relations
P.O. Box 671
Laurel, MS 39441
(601) 319-9347 (cell)