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Bureau takes aim at A-frame business signs

The city of Portland is warning local businesses who put up “A-Board” signs on sidewalks or other public property that they could be in violation of city codes.

The Bureau of Development Services will once again enforce the city codes against such practices, after getting its budget beefed up.

The bureau, which ordinarily responds to public complaints of code violations, suspended enforcement of the sign code when the recession crimped new construction. That slashed development fees that help fund the Bureau of Development Services.

But now Portland is seeing a resurging commercial and residential development, and the bureau has restored many of its lost staff positions.

As a result, the bureau announced it will restart its enforcement of the city sign code, and first up is cracking down on “A-Board” signs in the public right of way.

“Improperly placed portable A-Board signs create a significant safety issue and mobility burden within the public right-of-way,” says City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the bureau.

In the last fiscal year, the Bureau of Development Services received 57 complaints about violations of the portable sign rules, says Mike Liefeld, the bureau's enforcement program manager.

The bureau will begin by conducting "sweeps" in high-density areas, he says. "We have started our efforts in Northwest Portland and will be moving next to the downtown core to address complaints."

The bureau also is pursuing enforcement actions against large signs that exceed the city’s size limits.

To learn more about the city’s sign code, see: >www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/36686, or call 503-823-7891.

To file a complaint about A-Boards or other violations of the sign code, go to >www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/34180 or call 503-823-2633.