"If Loudoun County can do it Arlington County can also stop illegal signs"
I have forwarded this to the County Board and County Manager. I hope this will motivate them to make some progress in stopping illegal signs in Arlington.
_____________________________________________ From: Robert Lauderdale <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 6:50 AM To: 'Barbara A. Favola'; 'Christopher Zimmerman'; 'Hilda Quinteros'; 'J. Walter Tejada'; 'Jay Fisette'; 'Mary Hughes Hynes'; 'Ron Carlee'; 'Terri Lynch' Subject: If Loudoun County can do it Arlington County can also stop illegal signs
LoudounExtra.com Illegal Signs Must Hit The Road County Adopts Permanent Ban By Kafia A. Hosh Saturday, July 25, 2009 Advertisement
All Advertisers </marketplace/> More than 8,000 signs — whether open-house ads or Little League tryout announcements — have been removed from Loudoun County roads since officials launched a pilot program to confiscate them. Now, the program is here to stay. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to permanently adopt the initiative, which enlisted volunteers and county staff members to remove signs that are illegally placed in a highway right-of-way. Supervisors passed the measure 4 to 3, despite objections from church groups that said the signs helped them attract members and industry groups that said the sign removal program hurt their businesses. Supervisors Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run) and Susan Klimek Buckley (D-Sugarland Run) voted against the measure. Board Chairman Scott K. York (I) and Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac) abstained. Supervisors who supported the program said signs along roadways are safety hazards that can block a driver's sight lines. "My residents have been complaining . . . that what they call road spam is out of control," said Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles). "I'm glad the program will go on." INTERNET ENHANCED Related Coverage * More local news </news/local/> * More Board of Supervisors news </tags/board-of-supervisors/>
Advertisement The program was adopted in March, when the board and the Virginia Department of Transportation agreed that the county would remove signs illegally placed in the department's right-of-way. County employees began collection efforts in April and were joined by 44 volunteers in May. Together, staff members and volunteers removed 8,296 signs. The pilot program ended June 30. At the board's public hearing Monday, several church leaders and business owners urged supervisors to vote against the sign removal program or make exceptions for their groups. Scott Oberlender of CrossCurrent Ministries said his church ofx ten used signs directing potential worshipers to its location at Eagle Ridge Middle School in Sterling. Without the signs, he said, people have difficulty finding the services, he said. Other religious leaders said that signs directing people to their churches have helped their congregations grow. Mike Eppes of the Ashburn-based J10 Church said a recent survey of his congregation found that 30 percent of the members had joined the church because they saw a sign on the road. Eppes said that a J10 member once told him "whoever put out that sign, you changed my life." Waters asked the board to exempt religious organizations and civic centers from the sign removal program, but her motion failed. Supervisor James Burton (I-Blue Ridge) said it would be unfair to make exceptions for certain groups. "To treat some entities differently than others, in my opinion, is wrong," he said. "There are procedures in place for entities to place advertising signs on private property with landowner's permission." Opponents of the sign removal program said that some volunteers have illegally removed signs from private property. County officials cited only one incident in which a volunteer removed a sign from the private property of a church on Evergreen Mills Road. But Edna Cross of the Dulles Area Association of Realtors said there have also been incidents of volunteers confiscating real estate signs on private property. "The volunteers are going into people's yards. They're discriminating against whose signs they take," she said at Monday's hearing. Cross said the sign removal program was impeding her industry's mission "to restore today's housing market." Delgaudio said he opposed the program because it drew county workers away from enforcing zoning laws in Sterling, where there are issues about too many people living in one residence. But Keith Fairfax, the program's manager, said the sign removal program did not keep employees from enforcing zoning regulations. "With any task, we get done what needs to be done," he said. Copyright 2009 The Washington Post Company