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MoCo To Pick Up Illegal Signs With “Sign Sweep”

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 7/8/2014, 1:05pm  ET

Campaign signs along Arlington Road on primary dayMontgomery County is ready to trash illegal signs in roadway medians, on utility poles and near public sidewalks.

The county’s Department of Permitting Services will gather with 50 volunteers on Wednesday for a “sign sweep,” to collect signs placed illegally in public right-of-ways for disposal at the Shady Grove Processing Facility.

Jessica Fusillo, from DPS, said the event wasn’t specifically timed for a few weeks after the gubernatorial primary — for which campaign yard signs were put up (and in some cases, left up) in state highway medians, polling places and some other county right-of-ways.

“These signs are not always political, Fusillo said. “Many are just an obstruction and unsightly for the community.”

Fusillo also said DPS has been busy removing campaign signs over the past few weeks. DPS tries to respond to 311 complaints from residents as soon as possible.

The event on Wednesday is part of a plan by DPS to conduct more regular sweeps, perhaps two or three times a year, county spokesperson Sue Tucker said.

Volunteers will gather at 8 a.m. Wednesday at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville for instructions and assignments. At 3 p.m., the volunteers will arrive at the Shady Grove Processing Facility to drop the signs off.

Every sign placed in the public right-of-way requires a limited duration sign permit and state law does not allow signs in the state right-of- way. Non-compliance can result in the issuance of a $500 civil citation for each sign in violation and removal of the signs. A political candidate and the sign installer can be held jointly responsible for compliance with the sign regulations.