Sign Island Signs Raise Concern for Driver Safety

HAMPSTEAD – Sign Island is one of the Hampstead Garden Club’s projects for town beautification, and one resident has expressed concern over the proliferation of signs being placed there.
The concern is that the signs not only detract from the beauty of the flowers and plantings on Sign Island, but also are a safety concern.

Every weekend, real estate, estate sale and yard sale signs appear, and often they are not removed within the time limits delineated by the town’s Sign Policy. Who is responsible for signs and their subsequent removal is spelled out in the ordinance.

Sign Island is at the intersection of Emerson Avenue and Stage Road.
There is no mention of Sign Island in the Temporary Sign Ordinance. The Temporary Sign Regulations state as follows:
• Political Signs shall be governed in accordance with RSA 664:17.
• Signs offering property for sale, including notice of open house or rent, are permitted on the lot being offered for sale or rent.
• Temporary signs advertising town, church or civic activities are permitted.
• Signs shall be placed not earlier than three weeks prior to the event and shall be removed within seven days of the event.
• Signs shall be placed only on the lot on which the use of the establishment being advertised by the sign is being conducted.
• Yard sale signs shall be permitted from Friday to Sunday on the weekend of the sale and only with a yard sale permit.
• Off-premise real estate signs promoting an open house are allowed on Saturday and Sunday only.
• Off-premise real estate signs promoting the viewing of a “Model Dwelling” are allowed only during the open hours of the Model Dwelling.
• Violators will be subject to a fine not to exceed $275. Fines will be added to the property tax of the owner or agent.

Code Enforcement Officer, Kris Emerson said he has not noticed any specific signs at the center island as of late, but added he has been busy with other issues.

“The group that places the sign is responsible for removal within seven days,” he said. “If I were the garden club, I would remove the signs themselves after a week. That would help me out immensely. Where there are plantings on that parcel of land, it’s probably not in the Town’s best interest to allow any signs on that triangle anyway.”

Emerson has agreed to look further into the ramifications of signs being placed on Sign Island and whether the Town has jurisdiction there. Sign Island is owned by both the Town and the State, and no one is sure where the line is or what regulations, if any, apply.

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