New fines proposed for illegal signs on right of ways

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – On almost any major road in Augusta, you could can find illegal signs. But it’s not everyone’s favorite sight.

“I don’t like them, they’re very tacky, this is supposed to be a city on the up and up and again the Garden City you expect beauty,” said Roberta McKenzie.

Illegal signs in the right of way are not pretty and the city is preparing to take new steps to get them down.

“We want the city to look better we want to decrease the blight I believe this is something that may work,” said Terrence Wynder Unified Code Enforcement Manager.

What’s in the works is a change in city policy, where code officers will write tickets for businesses who puts signs on city right of way. The first violation gets a warning, but after that owners could face some pretty hefty fines.

“The second occurrence we would want a $250 dollar fine, the next occurrence a $500 dollar fine and the next occurrence would be issuing a citation for Magistrate Court to see if we can get the maximum allowed penalty which is a thousand dollars,” said Wynder

And the proposed tougher treatment for sign violators is being welcomed by some commissioners

“Because we need to put more teeth into it, people think they can put a sign anywhere, they want to, this creates some teeth into it to hold them accountable.”

“It’s about that time for us to go ahead and take action and help clean up the city,” said Wynder.

“I think we should do that and I think people need to live with it,” said McKenzie.

Code officers say the new policy would also include campaign signs, if they’re also put in the right of way.

The new policy goes before a commission committee tomorrow, and if approved by the full commission will go into effect a month later.

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