KCMO Set to Crack Down on Illegal Signs | News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In many Kansas City neighborhoods, junk signs with offers to buy ugly homes or some get-rich-quick scheme are sprouting up as fast as homeowners can take them down – but up until now, there hasn’t been any penalty for those who keep putting them up.
Now, the City of Kansas City is making it easier to prosecute people who put up the so-called snipe or “bandit” signs.
In the Ivanhoe neighborhood, leaders have been demanding that the city do something about the plague of signage, which some are calling visual graffiti.
“We don’t like it because number one when they put the signs up it doesn’t give the neighborhood the appearance that we’d like,” said Ivanhoe resident Margaret May. “Secondly, when they blow off the poles, we’ve got the paper in the streets that’s litter. The big thing is the messaging. Quite often it’s messages about ugly houses, things that really aren’t condusive to what we’re trying to do to improve the image of the area, to reflect this good place we have here. “
But now, the City Council has approved new penalties for those who create a nuisance by repeatedly posting illegal signs. Fine range from $20 for the first offense to up to $1,000 per sign for repeat offenders.
According to the new ordinance, the person or business named on the sign is responsible for paying the penalties.
“For the person who has the garage sale or some other small event, chances are you’re going to be okay,” said councilman Scott Wagner. “But for the person who has it in their minds that you’re basically going to attach a billboard to a utility pole, we’re coming after you and we’re going to do something about that.”
Neighborhood leaders tell FOX 4 that they believe one high-profile prosecution against an illegal sign poster should help deter others from putting new signs up.
The new penalties won’t take effect for 10 days, but city inspectors are scheduled to go out on an illegal sign enforcement sweep on Tuesday.