Tim asks: “Is it legal notice to post these signs? Is it legal for me to tear it down?”
its illegal to post them (it is a public nuisance), and posting is punishable by a fine of $20-$50 per day. The law also protects your right to tear them down on sight.
“Any person may abate the nuisance created by a violation of this division without liability for doing so.”
@Tim – Per Richmond City Code, Division 2, Section 38-113 “It shall be unlawful for any person to paint, mark, or write on or post or otherwise affix to or upon a public way or fixture any sign or other form of commercial, noncommercial, or political advertising, promotion, solicitation, communication or display.” Section 38-115 states “Any person may abate the nuisance created by a violation of this division without liability for doing so.”
The sign in question is illegal and you may remove it without liability – the City Code also says that “willful interference with a person who is engaged in abatement under section 38-115 shall constitute a violation of this division.” EVERY sign that is on a telephone pole or is stuck in a public sidewalk tree well or in a median is illegal, including relator signs, and anyone may abate the nuisance and remove them. Technically, EVERY sandwich board sign, seemingly in front of every restaurant and business in Richmond, is illegal because it is placed on a public sidewalk. The City does a terrible job of informing the public of these rules and does nothing to enforce any of its illegal sign rules, so signs are sprouting up everywhere and the sidewalks have become an obstacle course as people have to bob and weave to avoid the sandwich boards. If restaurants and businesses want to promote their establishment using public sidewalks, they should have to pay a fee to the City to do so.
I always rip ’em down
What we need are a couple of those large cylindrical things like you see in Europe where people can post notices. Perhaps one in Patrick Henry Park.
@ Keith – they have them on college campuses, too. They can be as simple as a large wooden post with a little “information,” “public posting,” or similar type sign on top.
What #7 said. It would be nice to have a physical community message board, though I suspect they would swiftly become inundated with lewd graffiti/drawings.
Thank you for clarifying, the neighborhood would be so much prettier if these were immediately removed. I have torn a number of them down myself but did not know the law behind this.
PaulF is *exactly* right. I have torn these down NUMEROUS times, and left VM’s on the posted number that they are clearly in violation of City Code. I’m going to contact RPD, and see if they can look into making contact with these folks. The only way they’ll stop is if there are monetary consequences for their actions. Please continue to tear them down on sight, as you are well within your rights to do so.
Does that mean these signs are illegal, too?
What about “missing dog” signs?
I tear them down like it my second job. It’s also fun to call the number and ask for “John.” He’s never in the “office.”
Ziti – yes, but I see a difference in intent, scale, and permanence.
Dave wasted his $$$, I got 5 down today.
@15 Thanks for saying it so well (intent, scale and permanence).
Let’s think about this people…..
Sam Shields has hand written signs with good intentions to pick up trash, BUT his signs are illegal (technically).
Dave has signs up for him to buy houses from people who can’t afford and maintain them. The same houses could get taken away from delinquent taxes and sit for years in the hands of the city. On top of that at least these people walk away with a little cash and a clean record. Likewise, if these houses are getting into the hands of people who can renovate and take care of them- is it that bad of a thing?
I imagine most people who are reading this page live in a house that someone like Dave has bought. I also image that most people who actually call “Dave” don’t look at this website.
Just think about this- even though Sam “has good intentions” his signs are just as illegal as Dave’s. And likewise, pulling Sam’s signs and Dave signs down is a jerk-off passive-aggressive move.
Honestly Dave’s signs look a lot neater and cleaner than Sam’s signs…… But only Dave’s signs are getting pulled down? Aren’t they both technically cleaning up “trash” in our neighborhood!?! I’d say so.
I don’t think you digested what John said in #15. These particular signs are an eyesore. If we (& The City) allow “Dave” to post them, then it would open the floodgates for ALL who wish to do so. There’s good reason it is a violation of City Code, and that those (that) remove them are protected by that same code.
Dave’s signs seem a little self-congratulatory to me. I too have bought a house, but I didn’t feel like I had to put a sign up about it. Sheesh.
My, there are some real vigilantes responding here.
All signs are forbidden, regardless of any good intentions by the poster. Who among you believes you have the right to decide what stays posted and what you can destroy? If “Lost Puppy” postings are okay, what about political signs for a candidate or cause you oppose?
(By the way: The original reason for banning signs on wooden utility poles was because left-behind nails and staples were a safety hazard for climbing utility men [only men, back then] because their clip-on spikes might not dig in properly.)
I would never have guessed that these trashy signs would have defenders.
Geesh – some folks really will argue about anything. The kid is trying to make a difference in his neighborhood. Let’s not crush his spirit just yet.
Is this a “kid”? I *believe* I’ve witnessed the people who put up these signs, a man and a woman, and they were not kids. They were in a big hurry too.
Aud – I was referring to the kid, Sam I believe is his name, who put up the “No Littering” signs. Some folks seemed to be trying to compare those signs to the “Dave Buys Houses” signs (which I agree are an eyesore). Not everything is black & white, or in this case “legal vs. illegal”. A kid trying to do something to improve his neighborhood? I’m all for that. A perhaps predatory home-buyer hanging ugly signs in my hood? That doesn’t give me the same level of warm & fuzzy.
I see, Bill. My mistake!