Businesses could be fined $250 for leaving signs in yards for more than two days after they complete work on a project, under proposed changes to the city's sign ordinance.
Alderman Pete Karas wants to fine companies like AT&T who hook up television service at a city home and then leave signs in people's yards for excessive periods of time. He's also going after contractors who put up signs all over town after a hail storm or other strong storms. Both could be fined between $50 and $250 for signs left up too long. Homeowners would not be fined.
"I believe this will raise public awareness of our sign ordinances and the changes will make Racine’s neighborhoods more aesthetically pleasing," Karas said about his proposal.
He's also taking aim at two obscure items in the city's sign ordinance. One, current law seems to ban signs for civic events - events like Pancake Days or church festivals - or statements of conscience. Karas would allow such signs.
Also, the city specifically requires evergreen trees to block views of signs near homes or apartments. Karas would like any perennial shrub to be acceptable, as long as it hides the sign.
Not included in Karas' proposed changes are fines for political signs. While they may be lumped in with the business signs, Karas said he does not intend for candidates to be fined for signs left up too long after an election.