Signs restricted on private land
What are the regulations for hanging banners to publicize events? Banners are a low-cost, effective way to get the word out. I asked a homeowner for permission to hang a banner on his fence that has high visibility. He told me that he was told by the city that he would be cited if banners other than those from political campaigns were posted. Could this be true? Why would politicians be allowed a special exemption?
Answer: Political and campaign signs are exempt from restrictions on private property because of First Amendment rights ("Kokua Line," May 21).
Nonpolitical banners, meanwhile, are considered temporary signs, with restrictions as spelled out in the section of Chapter 21 of the city's Land Use Ordinance that deals with signs, said Art Challacombe, customer services manager with the city Department of Planning and Permitting.
There are different types of temporary signs, such as real estate signs, subdivision construction signs, special-event signs, etc.
A special-event sign must be posted at the location where the event is taking place. So you can't post a sign on someone's property for an event taking place elsewhere, Challacombe said.
Special-event signs are limited to one event per six-month period and cannot be displayed for more than seven consecutive days, he said.
Examples of illegal signs hanging from a homeowner's fence or wall are those announcing school reunions or Little League baseball games, he said.
Challacombe said his office receives a lot of complaints about churches putting up temporary signs about their services "out on the highway or a fence on someone else's property." That is not allowed.
However, the problem is that by the time inspectors are able to take a look on a working weekday, the signs are gone.
Meanwhile, enforcement is "complaint-based," Challacombe acknowledged.
"We just don't have the numbers to go out and do sweeps," he said.
For the entire island of Oahu, he has 19 inspectors responsible for checking on many different kinds of building and housing code regulations, often involving "life safety issues."
Q: Is there a prohibition against state employees using cell phones while driving state vehicles? I was driving behind a yellow state truck, and the guy was on the phone for more than five minutes. If there isn't such a rule, maybe there should be. If the driver hits somebody, taxpayers are going to pay for it.
A: There is no general policy except to obey the law, according to state Comptroller Russ Saito, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services.
"We assume that individual users follow the advice of their personal cell phone providers," he said.
However, Saito said he will check to see if it is feasible to have a policy on cell phone use when operating state vehicles or use of state-provided cell phones while driving any vehicles.
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