“Bandit signs,” a pejorative name for those small, temporary advertising markers frequently found cluttering roadsides, tacked to utility poles and anchored in street medians, are now the focus of increased enforcement by the city of Chandler.
According to sign officials, who launched their crackdown April 18, City Code prohibits the placement of such signs in public right-of-way.
Officials say they not only can cause distractions to drivers and pedestrians but contribute to litter problems and detract from the city’s appearance. Such signs are inexpensive and easy to erect. They can be hand-made or purchased from local and national companies.
Before removal, the signs will be tagged with a bright-orange notice advising “SIGN VIOLATION NOTICE FOR REMOVAL.”
Removal and recycling of the illegal signs will occur a few days after the violation notice is attached to the sign. Code enforcers say this will give the owner time to remove the sign and help educate others who may be thinking of posting such signs that bandit-type signs are illegal when placed in the right-of-way.
To prevent weekend-only placement of the signs, a code inspector has been assigned to Saturday enforcement.
Enforcing random-advertising prohibitions has been difficult due to the growing number of signs, limited information about those who post them, and distant locations for owners and/or posting companies.
An informal survey by the Code Enforcement Unit has found that many bandit signs are for products, businesses and services from non-local companies or individuals.
According to a department spokesman, many of the businesses being advertised are not properly licensed or paying required city taxes.