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Yard sale signs in right of way are illegal

You stated in your May 6 column that temporary signs, posted to make money, need a permit. No one hanging yard sale signs on a light post or a box on a sidewalk has a permit. Can I, as a private, law-abiding (mostly) citizen, remove those signs that are left out after the sale date?

— William J., via email

William, while yard sale signs are a form of outdoor advertising, the city’s planning department does not issue permits for them.

That means any yard sale sign in the public right of way is illegal, per Municipal Code 6.360. However, as you noted, the rule is widely ignored.

“It’s so prolific, and most people have no idea it’s unlawful,” said Medford police Sgt. Don Lane.

However, community service officers are too busy dealing with tall weed and grass complaints during the summer to follow through with every yard sale sign placed on sidewalks and utility poles, Lane said.

Lane recommends that you contact code enforcement (541-774-2016) before removing any yard sale signs in order to avoid problems with your neighbors.

“The only caveat of that is if it’s an old, dilapidated sign and the event has come and gone so it’s basically rubbish,” he said. “I personally have no problem with them removing the sign. But, when in doubt, contact code enforcement.”

For anyone hosting a yard sale, signs can be placed on private property — with the property owner’s permission, of course — if the sign is no larger than 6 square feet, Lane said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.