Who is supposed to be enforcing the law regarding signs on sidewalks? It seems that signs such as sandwich boards are blocking sidewalks everywhere from downtown George Town to the Eastern Districts.
Auntie’s answer: I am really glad this question was asked. In addition to blocking sidewalks, the sandwich boards often prevent a clear view of oncoming traffic when a driver is attempting to turn onto a road, which I can attest to from personal experience.
The matter of enforcement falls to the Department of Planning. An official confirmed that the department issues enforcement notices to property owners concerning the placement of signs on the sidewalk. If these notices do not lead to the removal of the offending signs, then the department will come by to collect the signs, which will then be disposed of after two weeks if they are not claimed.
The notice and removal are set out in the Department and Planning Law (2017 Revision) under Sections 18(4) and (8), and 21(1). The latter section sets out guidelines for possible fines for non-compliance.
Sidewalks need to allow for free movement of pedestrians, the official pointed out, so any business that wants to put up a sign would have to apply to the Central Planning Authority for approval. To date, however, previous such applications have been denied on the basis they would block pedestrian access.
The official explained that signs and sandwich boards are put out on sidewalks without planning permission. The department does “actively remove” the signs, he added, but also asked that members of the public email reports of any sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org and these complaints will be investigated and referred for further action.
The law mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library
Send questions to email@example.com
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