Are Henrico road signs illegal?

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jan 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-08 06:43:15-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- If you drive down Staples Mill Road in Henrico you will see small, handwritten signs advertising items such as beds, granite and even solar panels.

But signs on right-of-ways in Henrico County are illegal, according to Ben Blankinship, principle planner, with the county.

"These signs appear to be illegal, they appear to be in the right-of-way which is always illegal," Blankinship said.

Blankinship said the county has cracked down on these signs since 1988, fearing they could distract drivers or bring down property values.

"People just don't like them, they are ugly, they are in the way. You plant nice landscaping along the road and you put a sign up in front of it," Blankinship said.

But enforcing the law is difficult since only judges can issue fines which can range from $10 to $100. 

However, the county does have the right to remove them.

"If it is in the county's right-of-way it becomes the county's property," Blankinship said.

Henrico officials remind residents that no sign should be placed in a right-of-way and no sign can advertise something that is not sold on that property.

"Some signs require permits, others do not," Blankinship reiterated.