Signs, hoops dominate council discussion
Two hot topics at the Aug. 23 meeting of Marysville City Council dominated discussions between residents and city administration.
Discussion centered on signs and basketball hoops.
Landlord Kathy Young brought up the sign issue when she spoke to council about a number of topics, including her "For Rent" signs.
Young said she placed a "For Rent" sign worth $65 in front of one of her rental properties and it disappeared. She thought it was a disgruntled potential renter until the sign she put out to replace it went missing as well. Then she thought it might be the city.
She called City Planner Greg Delong to try to track down her sign.
"I spent an hour of my time, an hour of the city employee's time, and talked to four employees trying to locate my sign. ... Instead of actually stealing my sign, (they were) just removing it and placing it up by the house or sticking a Post-It note on the door or simply calling the number on the sign," said Young.
Terry Emery, Marysville city administrator, said the city has control over what happens in a property owner's right-of-way, but crossing that line to leave a note on the door would be crossing a legal line as well.
"The city does plan to come up with a way to process these signs. They will be placed in an area where they can be accessed by residents in front of the public service area and they will be out there for a period of time," said Emery.
Young said when the city first enacted the sign legislation, she did not receive a letter or notice of any kind about signs
The public affairs committee spent two years on the sign ordinance. Business owners and churches have registered complaints about some of the sign restrictions since the beginning of the year.
Emery said enforcing the rules on signs is a matter of consistency and safety.
Young pointed out her phone number was on the sign and she could have easily been notified instead of wondering where her sign went.
"We've got to be consistent in our application, and if we do that for you and then don't do it or can't do it for someone else, then it creates issues," said Emery.
"If we spent the time going back and calling each one, it would be impossible, especially during political season, because we get hundreds of signs then," said Emery.
The issue of basketball hoops in roadways came up again after council member Mark Reams reported the Public Safety Committee proposed amending Chapter 311, Street Obstructions and Special Uses, of the city of Marysville Codified Ordinances.
The ordinance prohibits portable basketball hoops from being placed on sidewalks, in streets, alleys or in any area that, according to city code, hinders traffic visibility or obstructs pedestrians. The amendment lessens the punishment to a minor misdemeanor for violators.
"We've had several thousand dollars worth of damage to city snow plows. We wouldn't even be talking about this issue if people would use their portable hoops, then put them away. But since they get left out, they've caused damage," said Reams.
Council member Henk Berbee asked Tim Aslaner, city law director, to give examples of other offenses that would be comparable to a misdemeanor.
Aslaner pointed out speeding or running a stop sign might be comparable.
Emery emphasized it's not the city's intention to send cruisers out to patrol for basketball hoops in violation.
"It would be our approach to go to our residents and talk to them first for a warning, let them know it's not permitted," said Emery.
"We need to protect the public right-of-way. When people place obstructions, whether they're signs or basketball hoops, it potentially creates issues," said Emery.