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Dover begins annual mission of removing illegal signs

Union Leader Correspondent

February 11. 2014 6:12PM

DOVER — This week the city is purging traffic islands and utility poles of advertisements for stump grinding, mattress sales and snow plowing — mainly from out-of-town businesses.

Assistant City Planner Tim Corwin said the city is conducting an ongoing sweep — which began Monday — for illegal and temporary “off-site” advertising to enforce its zoning ordinance.

“In other words, all business advertising signs must be located on the same property as the business that the sign is advertising,” Corwin said.

“Most of the time those business are ­not located in Dover. When I follow up with these businesses, they are usually unaware of the rules. However, we do have some repeat offenders,” Corwin said.

Corwin said businesses are encouraged to remove the signs themselves.

The city will keep confiscated signs for 30 days before they are recycled or destroyed. Any business interested in reclaiming their signs are subject to a fee — “based on the actual cost of staff hours and equipment use,” according to a city news release.

“This cleanup is the first conducted this year and part of continuing efforts to enforce the ban on illegal off-site advertising,” the release states.

Repeat offenders may be subject to prosecution and fines.

“Illegally posted advertising signs may create a safety hazard for traveling motorists and can be unsightly for residents. Such signs detract from the legitimate business signs approved under the city’s established permitting process,” the news release states.

For more information, contact the Dover Department of Planning and Community Development at 516-6008.

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