Sunday, January 02, 2005


The roadsides of Polk County are collectively becoming an eyesore, and not because of the seemingly continious road construction. Illegally placed signs along the public right-of-way have sprouted up since the hurricanes advertising debris removal, carpentry work, and roof repair, among other services. The Winter Haven News Chief focuses on the problem there in today's edition.

There has always been an issue with these small signs on the right-of-way, which is against city and county ordinances. But their numbers have significantly increased just in the last couple of months, and that adds to those for yard sales, political candidates, and various other items which have still not been removed. Most area ordinances mandate that such signs be placed on private property, and only with the property owners' consent.

In Winter Haven, a Code Enforcement officer is assigned two days a week just to remove these illegal signs, which are brought back to the office, documented, with a letter sent to the violater. But there is no fine involved, and the only consequence is that the business owner just lost their sign.

I have an acquaintance who is very active in one of the local "Clean and Beautiful" organizations, and he doesn't give a second thought to pulling over whenever he sees one of these illegal signs on the public right-of-way and removing it. He had collected hundreds of signs over several months, and if he wanted, the metal stands could bring a nice price...


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