Signs of Summer (and Winter, Spring & Fall)

The Villages of Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay are wonderful bedroom communities. We drive, walk and ride through beautiful tree-lined streets with tropical foliage, play in our parks and enjoy peaceful moments. It’s one of the main reasons we choose to live here and why our home are valued as they are.

But there is an issue at hand that is close to my heart, and it involves signs.

 Home for Sale sign placed at a church. Definitely not kosher!

Home for Sale sign placed at a church. Definitely not kosher!

Let’s face it; we have advertising bombarding us from sun up to sun down. No one wants our suburban streets lined with ads, yet that seems to be what’s happening. Roofers, electricians, plumbers, tutors, sports camps and construction companies all shout at us from the very homeowner yards we hold dear. Why do we allow it?

 Outside Howard Drive Elementary, this photo captures only two of the 19 signs placed on property!

Outside Howard Drive Elementary, this photo captures only two of the 19 signs placed on property!

Since I live in Palmetto Bay, I’ll start my discussion there. Future articles on the subject will likely expand to Pinecrest where there are similar issues.

Signs should be controlled via Village ordinances and enforced by compliance officers. While I’m not an attorney, the essence of Palmetto Bay’s ordinance is only two types of signs are allowed without obtaining a permit: political campaign signs and real estate signs. I certainly agree about the real estate signs, as homeowners should be able to advertise their own property for sale or rent as a basic right of owning that land. I’ll leave the debate about political signs for another day, other than to point out one glaring inequity.

 Outside polling location the day following the election... my sign was placed temporarily among them for comparison.

Outside polling location the day following the election... my sign was placed temporarily among them for comparison.

In Palmetto Bay, political signs are specifically allowed to be 22”x28”, where real estate signs are limited to 144 square-inches, meaning homeowners are limited to signs 77% smaller than the politicians. That is mind-boggling and doesn’t make sense. I doubt that’s what was intended when the ordinance was written in 2002.

Further, if a homeowner were to try to adhere to the size restriction for their real estate sign, they are forced to buy a custom-sized sign. To prove my point, I went to Home Depot and several other online and brick-and-mortar stores that sold signs. None sold a stock 144 square-inch sign.

 The stock 24x18 sign has 3x the surface area of the 144 sq-in sign below it.

The stock 24x18 sign has 3x the surface area of the 144 sq-in sign below it.

If I were to humbly suggest an EQUITABLE solution… In the United States, a standard sign size is 24”x18”. You can buy hundreds of pre-made sign at this size, including FOR SALE signs. Why not make all allowable signs under the ordinance adhere to a standard maximum of 24”x18”?

Then, it’s time to start enforcing the ordinance. Why a plumber from 15 miles away can place a sign in Palmetto Bay as pure advertisement is beyond me. With some equitable changes and enforcement we can win back our bedroom communities.