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Civic group will help with sign cleanup

Beverly Hills volunteers will remove and dispose of unauthorized signs on county property. Pine Ridge is considering a similar agreement.

By BRIDGET HALL GRUMET, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002


BEVERLY HILLS -- The Beverly Hills Civic Association has entered into a stewardship agreement with the county to remove unpermitted signs from county parks, roadways and other areas in their community.

The agreement, approved by the County Commission this month, was created in response to complaints about for-sale signs, campaign signs and job announcements that pop up periodically in Beverly Hills.

Such signs have long been prohibited in the right of way throughout Citrus County, Development Services director Gary Maidhof said.

"This just gives us another mechanism for enforcement and cleanup," he said.

The agreement allows designated members of the civic association to remove and dispose of unauthorized signs on county property in Beverly Hills. Homeowners in Pine Ridge are considering a similar agreement, Maidhof said.

Although campaign workers for state and federal candidates often place their signs in the right of way, Maidhof said local candidates are good about putting their signs on private property, where they belong.

"At the beginning of each election season we send letters to the major parties making them aware of the county's signage regulations, to let them know that if their signs do appear in the county's right of way, the county will remove them," Maidhof said. "That's been very effective."

For the signs, political or otherwise, that find their way into the Beverly Hills right of way, residents can now report them to the civic association office at 746-2657. A member of the sign committee, chaired by John Quintas, will handle the complaint.

According to Quintas, the Beverly Hills sign stewardship agreement with the county provides that:

All signs posted on county property, including right of way, drainage retention areas and public parks are subject to action under this procedure. Signage shall include all signs as defined within the Citrus County Land Development Code, and includes, but is not limited to, for-sale signs, garage sale signs, political candidacy signs and job announcements.

Any signs posted on utility poles, traffic control signs or trees and other shrubbery within county property are subject to this procedure.

Any signs posted within county property without benefit of county approval or permit shall be deemed abandoned as stated in county Administrative Regulation 13.14. Abandoned signs shall be removed by the civic association designated members immediately upon discovery without any required notice to the owner or lessee of the sign.

After removal, abandoned signs shall be disposed of rather than stored.

Legally permitted temporary signs shall be removed within 72 hours of the end of the event unless other arrangements have been made with the county or the civic association.

The civic association has the right to request proof of permit from a property owner or business owner. Should any said owner refuse to provide proof of permit, the civic association shall refer the case to the county code enforcement staff for formal investigation.

Any questions or challenge of civic association action in regard to this procedure shall be appealed as established under Administrative Regulation 13.14.

The civic association is working on an alternative system for residents to publicize their yard sales.

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