Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Sign Sweep

The Dover Department of Planning and Community Development announces that it will be conducting a clean-up of illegal and unpermitted temporary advertising signs throughout the City of Dover during the week of January 9th as part of a review of zoning compliances around the community.  Illegal and unpermitted signs include those on utility poles, or in the right of way. This clean up will be the fourth one conducted by planning staff in the past year.

The illegal sign removal action is warranted because the placement of these temporary signs in public right-of-ways and medians of streets, on utility poles and attached to trees is not permitted by the Dover Sign Ordinance and may cause a safety hazard for traveling motorists or create a visual blight that is unsightly for residents.  These signs detract from legitimate business signs that have gone through the proper permitting process.

 “I am confident that we will continue to see less signs than we have in the past,” Christopher Parker, Director of Planning and Community Development said. “I am always happy to see that the sweeps take less and less time to complete as we have more and more compliance from business and property owners. We have seen dramatic reductions in these illegal signs. I hope that this trend continues and we have only a handful of illegal signs at the end of the day.”

Parker continued to explain that the goal of the sweep is to reward those business owners that have properly placed and permitted their signs. “We hope to both remove the safety hazard, improve aesthetics and also ensure that those that follow the rules the community has established for signs are followed.”

This will be the first sign sweep conducted with the City’s recently hired Zoning Administrator, Tim Corwin. Corwin joins the City staff on January 3, and will be learning the nuances of Dover’s code. “This sweep is a good way for Tim to see how seriously we take zoning and code violations in Dover.” Parker explained.

Business owners that have placed these signs are advised to remove the illegal signs in advance of this clean-up effort.  Any sign that is confiscated will only be held for thirty days prior to being recycled or destroyed, unless the sign is claimed by the owner after paying a reclamation fee based on the actual cost of man-hours and equipment use.  Repeat offenders may be subject to prosecution and fines. 

The Planning Department has a facebook fan page in which residents can learn more about projects and applications. Additionally, the Department has a twitter feed @DoverNHPlanning.

For more information please call the Planning Department at 516-6008.

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