No More Real Estate Signs in the Median?

From an Albemarle County press release (bolding mine):

Albemarle County will begin enforcing an existing state law against advertising signs in the highway right of way along designated entrance corridors in the County beginning on February 17, 2009. This program is being conducted in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s ongoing illegal sign removal efforts, and County staff have been authorized to conduct this enforcement through a signed agreement with VDOT.

Advertisements are defined as devices that are intended to draw attention to or to solicit public support for goods, merchandise, property, business, services, entertainment or amusement activities. Any such advertisements are illegal in the highway right of way and are the focus of this enforcement effort, which was initiated by the County Board of Supervisors to improve safety and aesthetics along entrance corridors like Route 29 and Route 250.

Beginning on February 17, county inspectors will remove advertisements placed in the right of way in response to complaints that are received and as part of their regular duties as they travel around the county. The County will also take proactive measures such as conducting sweeps to remove signs that are in violation. All enforcement activities will be conducted with existing budgeted resources, so no significant cost impact is from this program.

Illegal advertisements removed by County staff may be discarded, and violators are subject to a $100 fine. County staff are focusing on this illegal sign issue at the request of the Board of Supervisors, who are concerned about the traffic safety impacts of signs that distract drivers and block sight lines and who find the signs to be visual clutter than detracts from the appearance of the roadways. Anyone with questions should contact Jay Schlothauer at (434)296-5832.

Honestly. Glad to see government’s fixed everything else. /sarcasm.

This is interesting on a variety of levels, first and foremost being that sellers of homes may likely be harmed by this enforcement. While marketing trends show that real estate print advertising is rapidly continuing its decline, sign advertising remains very effective. Directional signs leading to signs which frequently have flyer boxes (hopefully with flyers) lead to an awful lot of traffic to websites and calls inquiring for information.

What now?

The Free Enterprise Forum blog discussed this last year.

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