Garage sale signs should comply with city regulations

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This garage sale sign on the corner of Dousman and Blackhawk is in compliance with the city’s sign placement regulations because it sits away from the roadway and out of the boulevard. It is also less than 3 feet in height and less than 3 feet in square size.

By Correne Martin

Citywide garage sales are this weekend in Prairie du Chien. In anticipation of the large number of sales expected, city officials are reminding the community to follow some simple sign placement rules and regulations.

First, signs must be placed at least 15 feet away from the edge of a road surface.

“Basically, don’t put it in the boulevard between the sidewalk and the road. That’s a pretty common mistake people make,” Prairie du Chien Police Chief Chad Abram said. “People also like to affix their signs to telephone poles, street signs and trees. That’s illegal, especially if it’s in the right of way.”

Second, signs cannot be posted on city property. They should also not be placed on private property, without consent from the owner. “People need to get permission if they’re going to put a sign in someone’s yard,” Abram said.

Third, the size of signs must be less than 3 feet in height, from the ground to the top of the sign, and less than 3 feet in square size. Abram advised that the standard garage sale signs purchased at the local hardware store are the perfect choice.

“We’re not going to be out there measuring signs, but if something looks big, we take it down and either destroy it or keep it and use it to educate the sale holder about our city regulations,” Abram stated. “A lot of times, if the sign complies with our size regulations but is not placed in an appropriate spot, our officers just move the sign to where it’s not in violation.”

Fourth, signs cannot be in place more than 24 hours before the sale begins or more than 24 hours after the sale is done.

According to Abram, the police department’s duty is to enforce the city’s sign ordinance, and although officers don’t intend to be overly aggressive about citing people for violations, he warned that fines can be given.

“All we want is compliance. Mostly, people are willing to comply, but it can be really frustrating when people repeatedly ignore the rules when we’ve talked to them about it,” he explained. “The citywide garage sales bring a lot of business into the community. We want to work with the community to make it a good thing for everybody.”

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