North Hempstead combats illegal advertising signs in public places and increases fines for violators

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At the May 20, Town Board meeting, Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the North Hempstead Town Board adopted a local law modifying the types of signs that are prohibited within the town and set a maximum penalty of $2,500 for the misdemeanor offense of willfully or maliciously destroying municipal signs and property with advertising stickers and signs.

The law also combats distracting signs that have flashing, blinking or animated lights.

“This new local law is aimed at keeping our neighborhoods clean and beautiful,” said Bosworth “The adopted code changes, which include increased penalties, will help deter individuals and companies from turning our street signs, lampposts, and utility poles into illegal advertising billboards. North Hempstead is sending a clear message that it is unlawful to vandalize town property with advertising stickers and signage.”

“This piece of legislation is important to the town and its residents because it helps preserve the quality of life for our community,” said Council Member Veronica Lurvey. “The new law will allow the Town to do its job in preventing commercial advertisements from being placed on municipal property where they shouldn’t be.”

The new law includes a rebuttable presumption that a business or entity identified on a sign, poster or sticker is responsible for the placement of the sign. The business will be presumed responsible for the violation if its name, website, telephone number or business address is on the sign, unless the presumption is contradicted.

The legislation also includes escalating fine ranges for repeat offenders and prohibits balloons and gas-filled figures; advertising or message flags; bunting; signs preventing ingress or egress from doors, windows, fire escapes and exits, and flashing, blinking or animated lights.

The code provides a limited exception for temporary grand opening displays not exceeding 14 calendar days after initial occupancy of newly established, newly renovated or under new management businesses.

Any resident who sees an illegal advertising sign should call 311 or 516-869-6311 to report the violation and commence a Code Enforcement investigation.

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