LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — The well-kept tree-lined streets in the town of Hempstead are something leaders here are proud of, but they say that image is in danger because of signs.
They are on utility poles, traffic lights, lawns — just about anywhere you can stick a sign.
“We are plagued by these signs that are flooding our communities, that are dumped off, left on properties, left on lawns, left on train stations, left on the highway,” Donald Clavin Jr., Town of Hempstead Supervisor.
Residents have complained so much about the signs that a new Quality Of Life Taskforce has been created to get rid of them and any graffiti they see.
In just three days, the crew took down dozens of signs. The local councilman says although they are illegal, a lack of enforcement has led to an uptick in signs and graffiti.
“Whether it’s illegal signs or graffiti, we will take them down. We will stand up to those that are putting these on our streets, flooding our neighborhoods. And we will continue to stand up for our communities plan to urbanize our neighborhoods which is nothing short of a smash and grab of our local zoning,” Chris Carini, Hempstead Town council member.
And the task force isn’t stopping there. They are spearheading efforts to get stricter laws and heftier fines for violators who put up unauthorized signs. A similar initiative was launched years ago to deter illegal dumping when a local landfill closed, they’re hoping for the same result here.
“If a community looks good, we feel good,” said community leader Joe Baker.
Residents who want to report a sign can reach out to the town board, local civic association, or their council members.
“Our home is our biggest investment, and we want to enjoy our quality of life in the suburbs. That’s what we fight for,” said Clavin.