There are many different factors that make a sign illegal – you probably see one every day! Signs posted in a right of way or on city property are illegal. This includes medians, the space between curbs and sidewalks, and utility or traffic signal poles.
Sign Sweepers can remove any temporary sign located in the right of way (keeping safety in mind). The right of way includes the following locations:
- Temporary signs located within a median on a public street.
- Temporary signs located between a public street and a sidewalk.
- Temporary signs located between a utility pole and public street. (Utility poles are located within the Right of Way)
- Temporary signs that are located between the expansion joint of a standard entrance to a property and a public street.
City of Chesapeake crews will continue to remove illegal signs when possible and will take care of medians on busy streets. Only collect signs when and where you feel safe doing so!
First of all, safety is key! Obey all traffic laws, do not remove signs at night and avoid removing signs on busy roads during rush hours. Do not remove illegal signs from medians on busy roads unless they are located at a stoplight with a crosswalk and you feel comfortable doing so.
Always wear a safety vest and always carry your Street Sweeper identification card. It may be helpful to also carry with you extra copies of the Temporary Signs brochure. If signs are mounted high out of your reach or in a way that you cannot physically remove it, contact the Chesapeake Customer Contact Center for removal (382-CITY).
If you are approached by the owner of the sign, do not enter into a confrontation with the person.
If the person is calm, show them your Street Sweeper identification card, give them a Temporary Sign brochure (or direct them to the Public Works website where they can find one) and explain to them why their sign is illegal. Suggest they contact the Zoning Administration of the Department of Development and Permits at (757) 382-8454 to obtain a sign permit (or simply have them call 382-CITY for instructions).
If the person is confrontational, put the sign back where you found it and walk away. Report the illegal sign and the confrontation to the Sign Sweeper Coordinator when you give your report.
Chesapeake ordinances allow for the immediate disposal of illegal signs. If you need help with sign disposal, include that in your report to the Sign Sweeper Coordinator.
In an effort to track the progress of this program and to ensure that the City properly communicates signage laws to the citizens, we ask that you report back to the Sign Sweeper Coordinator via email with the following information from the signs you collect:
- Message & phone number from sign
- The location it was found
- Date it was collected
We would like to keep record of those who continue to put up illegal signs despite their removal by the Sign Sweepers. In some cases we may ask for photos of the signs in their illegal locations. For more information, see training documents or contact the Sign Sweeper Coordinator, Public Information Coordinator Jason Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are currently no new training events scheduled. If you'd like to be made aware of future training opportunities, email Public Information Coordinator Jason Brown at email@example.com.