At-large Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard wants multiple Metro agencies to have authority to issue citations and notices against individuals or businesses illegally placing signs within public right-of-ways or on utility poles.
Currently, only the Metro Codes Department has jurisdiction over illegal sign enforcement. But an ordinance filed by the Bellevue-area councilman would extend that power to the Metro Public Works Department.
“The more departments and employees on the streets that are tasked with that charge, the better off we are as a city to get them down quicker and to control enforcements,” Tygard said.
Sign violators are subject to $50 fines. Tygard’s bill goes before the council on the second of three votes next Tuesday.
The issue of improperly placed signs has long been a sore spot for many council members. But the topic was thrust into a larger spotlight following the council’s recent “sign summit” in which council members bemoaned the continued illegal practice.
Billy Lynch, public works department director, said he hadn’t seen Tygard’s ordinance, but supports the move. He said public works employees can already assist in confiscating illegal signs but not writing citations.
“It would be beneficial that our inspectors who are out in the field continually investigate these type of complaints,” Lynch said. “To have that ability would be beneficial.
“Having more eyes and ears, any time, is more effective,” he said.