The town ordinance on signs is pretty clear.
Local organizations can post them for fundraisers: Library book sales, Yankee Doodle Fair, Sunrise Rotary duck race.
Political signs are okay — during election season. As with charity signs, they must be removed promptly.
Commercial signs are strictly regulated. They must be portable. They can’t be attached to a utility pole or fence. They can be displayed only during hours that a business is open. They must be on a “framed chalk board or eraser board.” All of the wording must be hand-drawn. And commercial signs must be located on the property where the business is located.
That’s the theory, anyway.
Anyone with more than 20/2000 vision knows those rules are frequently flouted. Several years ago — in the depths of the recession — 1st Selectman Gordon Joseloff eased the sign regulation. But the ordinance in place now — cited above — is pretty clear.
Al Gratrix is head of the Planning and Zoning Commission‘s enforcement committee. Chip Stephens is the the P&Z chair.
A couple of weeks ago, they started picking up illegal signs. They pulled 100 or so: non-handwritten business signs. Signs advertising office space. Signs for roofers and handymen, tacked 8 feet high on telephone polls.
Just as quickly, the signs reappeared.
Al and Chip went back on the prowl. On Saturday, they yanked 80 more.
Their task may be Sisyphean. (Or, to use a truer Westport reference, dandlelion-esque.)
But it’s an important one. Want to know one of the biggest blights on Westport’s beauty?
The signs are all around us.