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Pierce County cracking down on illegal signs

Pierce County cracking down on illegal signs

They're everywhere - along the side of the road and intersections - hundreds of signs trying to sell everything from deck planking to "get-rich" schemes.

In Pierce County signs like those are illegal. And now road crews are stepping up their efforts to go around and rip the signs off telephone poles or pull them from the ground.

The county also has a new program in place to force the companies that put them up to stop.

"Signs that are placed in the right-of-way are a form of visual blight people want to see taken care of," says Bruce Wagner of Pierce County Pubic Works.

Marianne Rojas, whose home is near an area that seems to attract the signs, says she wishes the companies that post them would obey the law.

"I don't think they they should be up there," she says. "They're illegal, and it would just be nice to see them gone and for people to respect that."

Rojas and her neighbor Michelle Jones worry the signs might lower their property values.

"Because there are so many of them, and it seems like every day they put up a new one from a different company." Jones says.

Right across the street from their homes KOMO News even found two signs bolted into a tree.

But Wagner says the county won't fine these companies because the cost of litigation is more than the revenue brought in from fines. Instead, crews clean them up over and over again.

"We were picking up about 100 to 130 signs per day when we were actively sweeping all the arterials in Pierce County," he said.

Pierce County crews say the illegal sign they see the most is posted by a company called Deck-O-Decks. So KOMO News gave the company a call. We left a message but the company never called back.

KOMO News called another company that posts the illegal signs, but they hung up on us.

Pierce County reserves the right to fine companies in extreme cases. But it is rare. Instead, crews will be out every month tearing down more signs.

In addition, the county will be sending out letters to people who offend the most.

They're hoping the companies who are putting the signs up get the message they have to come down.