Local News

Raleigh Begins Enforcing Sign Ordinance

Posted June 6, 2005 7:01 a.m. EDT

— The city of Raleigh began strict enforcement of an 18-year-old sign ordinance on Monday.

The ordinance, in effect seven days a week, does not allow any signs along the public right-of-way without the city's approval.

If inspectors see a temporary sign, they will take a photo of it and send it to violators with the fine.

"We're going to log it into a log sheet, the location, whose sign it is," said Zoning Enforcement Administrator Larry Strickland.

Day One and the signs were not hard to find. City leaders say the signs end up making Raleigh look trashy and that is why they are stepping up enforcement.

"It's like a domino effect," Strickland said. "When one person does it and leaves it there, another person would say, 'That's a good idea,' and say 'I'll do it too.'"

Julie Mathews, who was hoping to use signs to sell her house, agrees the look is not a good one. But she does not think real estate signs should be in the rules.

"You see the same signs at every intersection, and it's annoying," Matthews said. "It makes it hard for people trying to sell their homes."

In April, the city announced that it would spend two months getting the word out to the public.

The initial penalty is a $100 civil fine, plus a $100 administrative fee. The penalty increases to $500 a day if the violation continues.