Code says illegal signs face summary removal

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Somebody has put out hundred of “I buy houses” signs all over the parish. Why doesn’t the parish call the phone number and

have them pick up the signs? Also, why don’t they get the roofer and plumber and other signs taken down?

Wes Crain, Calcasieu Parish planning

and development director, said residents can report illegally placed

signs to code enforcement

officials at 721-3600.

Under Section 26-79 of the parish code, signs like those the reader refers to “will be summarily removed and destroyed or

disposed of in the most cost effective manner available.”

The provision applies to “wooden stake signs, small cardboard signs, light paper signs, and signs nailed to utility poles,

trees, etc.” — that is, signs that have “no apparent value.”

Political and real estate signs placed in rights of way will likewise be discarded by parish officials, according to the code. Illegally placed large signs that require wooden supports

will be labeled with an “illegal” sticker and be removed five days later.

“When structures, signs, obstacles,

etc., are of a permanent nature with significant value, the owner will

be notified by

certified mail to remove it within five (5) days or such other

period as may be agreed upon. When items do not have significant

value but do retain some apparent value, the owner shall be

notified orally or in writing to remove it within five (5) days

or such other period as may be agreed upon,” reads the code.

“All signs of significant or apparent

value will be marked with an approved sticker as ‘ILLEGAL’ at the time

of owner notification.

If the owner is unknown or cannot be found, a written notice

‘OBJECT ENCROACHMENT’ sticker shall be affixed to the object

setting forth that it must be removed within five (5) days from

the date specified.”

The parish will dispose of any signs

that owners fail to remove. But, the code says, the owners of the signs

will be expected

to pay “for any damages to the public property or expenditure of

public funds resulting from the installation or removal of

such items.”

Online: www.municode.com.

In case you missed it, those numbers again

Experience has taught The Informer that as soon as it answers a certain kind of question — on noise, say, or litter — another

reader will ask the same question in the days immediately after the answer appeared in the paper.

So, in an effort to head readers off at the pass, The Informer will quickly revisit a topic from Monday’s column.

To lodge complaints about trash cans left out too long in unincorporated areas, call parish public works officials at 721-3700.

In Sulphur, call 528-9534. In Lake Charles, call 491-1334.

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.