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City of Tulsa is enforcing yard sign ordinance, how you can keep your sign

Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-16 18:59:23-05

TULSA, Okla. — Some neighborhoods in Brookside have come up with their own way to slow down drives who speed through their neighborhood, they use yard signs to remind drivers what the speed limit is.

"The 'please drive 25' sign are just a reminder for people when they’re in a hurry to kind of just realize that there families that live here," said Brookside Resident Lisa Bellmard.

The Bellmard's kids play in the front yard like many other kids who live in Brookside, but speeding cars make that dangerous.

"They've already killed one of our neighborhood pets and came close one day to our sweet little two year old neighbor," said Brookside resident LaDonna Sheradin.

This week, Sheradin and Bellmard were upset to see Tulsa city employees removing signs from people's yards.

"Before I realized what they were doing they were gone and then I didn’t see the signs anymore," said Bellmard.

“This guy just comes down the road and is stealing them all," said Sheradin.

The signs were created and sold by the Brookside Home Owners Association.

"People pay for those signs to protect their neighborhood and you just come by and pick them up I don’t understand why that was necessary," said Bellmard.

Tulsa Zoning and Sign Official Michael Rider says no matter the message signs in the 'public right of way' have to be removed.

"Rights of way around the city are one of the highly regulated areas for a sign to go, and the least restrictive enforcement action we can take is removing the sign," said Rider. "The unfortunate thing as frustrating as it can be to have a sign taken especially from your own yard is that by ordinance we’re not allowed to discriminate against this signs content is better than that sign content."

Much of the issue, Rider says, is the the public knowing the full space of the "public right of way."

"A lot of people thing the public right of way is just the street but it’s the street plus the land that’s next to the street, it typically includes the sidewalk, utility poles, and things like that."

There is a way to make sure your sign does not get taken.

"The best way to make sure we don't have to take a sign is make sure you put it behind power poles and water meters," said Rider. "We want to help people who just want to follow the city ordinance so if they aren't sure all they have to do is call and we will measure where is a good place for them."

To make sure you are putting you sign in the right place, you can call the City of Tulsa at 311.

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