Illegal Signs Litter the Coast

Illegally posted signs are one of Gulfport councilmember Sam Albritton's pet peeves Albritton says about every three months he drives around his district taking them down. "And some businessowners get upset about it and then other people enjoy the fact that they're getting pulled up and they're illegal and they need to come up," Albritton says.

A city ordinance forbids tacking, pasting or hanging signs on buildings, fences, trees, poles and other structures. Still, Albritton says the city doesn't enforce the ordinance. "I'm not sure why they're not enforcing it and wish I knew that myself," So we asked Urban Development Director Bill Hessell. "As fast as we pull 'em down somebody's got another one up the next day. However, about every six weeks we have our five inspectors, six inspectors that we have to do the whole city, they are required to fill up their trucks everyday they come in for that week with signs and we load the dumpsters up with signs that are put up on the street. Hessell says his inspectors could spend everyday removing signs, and they do the best they can with the few inspectors they have.

Besides being illegal, Albritton says the signs cause other problems, like blowing into ditches, blocking the drainage flow. Albritton says "They'll block ditches, the signs actually blow off and go in the ditches and it'll clog the ditches so it actually creates more maintenance problems just other than pulling the signs up we'll have to have ditches cleaned out and the culverts cleaned out again." Just another reason, Albritton says, getting sign debris under control is so important.

Iin Gulfport, youi can be fined up to a thousand dollars if you're caught hanging an illegal sign or if you refuse to remove them.