Agenda Item No. IV-4.City of WichitaCity Council MeetingAugust 21, 2012TO:
Mayor and City Council
An Ordinance Amending Section 24.02.135, CreatingSection24.04.215andRepealingSection24.04.210of theCodeof theCity of Wichita, Kansas,Pertaining to Illegally Placed TemporarySigns on PublicRightof Way
Office of Central Inspection
New Business ______________________________________________________________________________
Approve first reading of ordinance amending Section 24.02.135, creating Section24.04.215 andrepealing Section 24.04.210 of the Code of the City of Wichita, Kansas, pertaining toIllegally Placed Temporary Signs on Public Right of Way
The Office of Central Inspection is tasked with enforcing ordinances related to illegal sign placement. In an effort to address the negative impact of sign blight, OCI employees dedicate hours eachweek to removing signs illegally placed in the right of way.Despite OCI’s best efforts, sign blightremains a problem throughout the City. The current approach is inefficient, labor intensive, and achievesmixed results. Additionally, enforcement through court proceedings is problematic given therequirement that the criminal act (illegal placement of the sign) be witnessed.In response to concerns expressed by citizens, acommitteewas formedto address issues related toillegally placed signage. The committee consisted of representatives from Neighborhood Services,Public Works, City Communications, Law, and OCI. The group reviewed current enforcement effortsand developed a program aimed at making animpact through partnerships and enforcement.The proposed ordinance revisions will enable staff to be more responsive in addressing sign blightthrough avolunteer sign removal programand prosecution where appropriate.
The ordinance amendments prohibit placement of signs in the right of way or on public property and declare an unauthorized temporary sign placed in the right of way to be a nuisance. Theexistence of a temporary sign in the right of way or on public property directing attention to a business, product or service is considered evidence that the owner or agent of the owner caused theillegal placement. Penalties are authorized for violators that have illegally placed or caused placement of temporary signage in the right of way.Additionally, the proposed ordinance amendments authorize citizen enforcement to assist in the removalof illegal signage. A volunteerprogram administered by Neighborhood Services and OCI willrecruit,train, and assist neighborhood, business, and civic groups, interested in addressing the negative impact of illegal signagein their communities.
The ordinance amendments will reduce the number of staff hours spentremoving signage illegally placed in the right of way.The volunteer program will cost an estimated $500annually.
The ordinance amendments will impact the Safe & Secure Community, Quality of Life,and Core Area & Neighborhood goals by providing staff with tools necessary to address sign blightthroughout the city.