Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes announced in their hometown Wednesday that they will soon be enforcing the recently passed Sign of The Times legislation, outlawing commercial ads on local utility poles, fences, trees and other structures.
More specifically, the law takes aim at commercial signs which try to sell a product, business or service. The law gives the town the right to remove the signs and levy fines - if the law is violated, the town's penalty is $250 per sign.
"We are here to announce a new law to make our roads safer and remove this unnecessary blight," Murray said. "This type of visual pollution is impacting of local quality of life, making our neighborhoods look seedy and presenting a threat to the safety of our drivers."
The law was passed on May 15, and Murray said they are giving people a two week grace period to remove the signs without a fine or violation, effective Wednesday.
Murray said that no sign can be posted where it would obstruct the vision of a pedestrian or motorist, nor if it creates a hazard or disturbance to the public. The press conference was held on Gardiners Avenue in Levittown, a street that has seen a number of the types of signs that the Town is taking aim at.
"Signage like this Is part of what is called a gorilla marketing campaign – but this is a neighborhood, not a zoo, and we can’t let this continue," Hudes said.
Hudes questioned the legitimacy of the businesses who post the signs and urged business owners to work with their local chambers.
"Residents have no idea who these businesses are – there’s no address., are they reputable? Are they even licensed? There are to many unanswered questions associated with these signs," Hudes said.
Murray said that the law does not go after signs for yard sales, missing pets, memorials, etc.
“We are not focused on those kinds of signs,” She said. "We are focused on the commercial signs that sell a product...the types of business signs that have sadly proliferated throughout the Town of Hempstead.”
What do you think of the Sign of the Times legislation? Tell us in the comments.