Hood River Police Department announces sign code enforcement

ILLEGAL signage: Signs attached to a publicly-owned post or tree are prohibited and become eyesores, according to the police department.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
ILLEGAL signage: Signs attached to a publicly-owned post or tree are prohibited and become eyesores, according to the police department.



As yard sale season approaches its peak (but when is it NOT yard sale season?), city officials will be checking for temporary signs that violate the Hood River city code.

Every year the code enforcement department of the Hood River Police Department receives numerous complaints concerning yard, garage, event advertisement and moving sale signs being posted on utility poles, sign poles, utility/electrical boxes and trees, according to Marty Morgan, Hood River Police Department code enforcement officer.

“We would like to address the yearly concern of yard, garage, event advertisement and estate sale signs that pop up throughout our community during the spring and summer months all over town,” Morgan said in a press release.

“Not only are they an eyesore and create unwanted litter by being left out long after the advertised event has ended, but you could be fined for displaying these signs on utility poles/sign poles, utility/electrical boxes and trees,” Morgan said.

Morgan cited city ordinance, Municipal Code 18.02.120 “Prohibited Signs, paragraphs 2 and 3.”

Portable Signs: Portable or bench signs, excluding sandwich boards located on private property, are prohibited.

Pole and tree signs: Signs placed on; painted on, or affixed to any utility pole or tree, are prohibited.

This applies to yard, garage, event advertisement and other sale signs placed within the city limits.

Under the code, the fine shall not be less than $250 per violation plus $2.50 per day in which the person is found in violation, and shall not exceed $1,000 per violation plus $10 per day in which the person is found in violation. This is in addition to any costs , assessments, or restitution the court may impose.

“Therefore, the City of Hood River and the Code Enforcement branch of the City Police Department are requesting that signs not be posted throughout the city advertising your yard, garage, advertised event or estate or other sales. Use newspaper ads or other internet/social media websites to let the public know about your sales or events.”

Morgan encouraged people who set out legal signs to be sure to retrieve them as soon as the sale is done.

Morgan said estate sale operators are universally compliant. He does not frequently issue citations to one-time sale hosts, instead focusing on education and prevention of future violations. Morgan said he has reached out successfully to several hosts of repeat sales.

“I’ve called on some folks during their sales and talked to them about how their signs are out of compliance, and had good results from that,” he said.

However, outreach and citations are time-consuming, and Morgan’s time is split between enforcing a wide range of codes, as well as his duties as department evidence manager. So, he is asking sale hosts to police themselves.

Morgan noted that an ongoing problem is the masses of sharp, jagged and often rusty nails, pins, staples and even screws that have built up over the years, particularly on power poles. These are hazards for children or passersby who might unwittingly lean against a pole, Morgan noted.



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