Jamestown crews confiscate unauthorized yard signs
City crews in Jamestown are seizing unauthorized signs placed in the street right of way.
Jamestown officials have been removing unauthorized signs from public right of ways this summer, according to Tom Blackmore, city building inspector.
"All unauthorized signs are being reviewed and removed as time allows," he said. "... it is definitely as time allows, we have other things to do."
Commercial and political signs are being removed from street and highway right of ways in Jamestown. The width of these right of ways varies widely in in the city, Blackmore said. The widest right of ways are along streets that are also state highways such as N.D. Highway 20 or U.S. Highway 281. In those areas, the removal of temporary signs from the right of way is mandated by state law.
"People need to review the plat maps and determine where their property starts, he said. "Or have a professional land surveyor make the calculation."
The Jamestown City Council authorized signs by the Jamestown Farmers Market be allowed in the right of way at its July 6 meeting. An application has also been submitted by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce to the City Council.
Unauthorized signs that are removed by city crews can be claimed by the owners by calling Jamestown City Hall at 252-5900. Anyone seeking authorization to have a sign on the right of way can also start the application process with a call to City Hall, Blackmore said.
Blackmore said in some cases, the removal of the signs is prompted by complaints of the residents. In others, city crews notice the signs and have time to collect them. The city ordinance prohibiting unauthorized signs on the right of way has been on the books for years and allows city crews to collect the signs without warning to the owner of the sign.
"It is a long-standing ordinance," Blackmore said. "When summer kicks in, people start putting out the signs."
Other situations involving unauthorized signs have involved stores going out of business and placing multiple signs along the Mill Hill right of way, Blackmore said.
"The idea is to keep Jamestown looking clean and neat," he said. "We ask for the public's assistance in this."